Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit

Some think people with sincere motives will automatically know the truth and recognize a lie. This idea along with the previous post, led to this question. 🙂

Don’t false teachers/ prophets often claim and believe they are led by the Holy Spirit? How are you to discern?

There is an interesting account in 1 Kings 13 about a young prophet and an old prophet. It has some valuable lessons in it relating to what we are discussing.

Notice the motives of the young prophet – he was trying his best to obey the Lord – his motives are sincere. He passed the first “test” with flying colors.

1 Kings 13:6-10 NASB … The king said to the man of God, “Please entreat the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and it became as it was before. 7 Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.” 8 But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place.9 For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way which you came.’” 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way which he came to Bethel.

The old prophet hears of what the young prophet did and goes to find him. How did the old prophet convince the young one to disobey God’s word?

1 Kings 13:14-19 NASB … So he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak; and he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” 16 He said, “I cannot return with you, nor go with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 For a command came to me by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water there; do not return by going the way which you came.’” 18 He said to him, “I also am a prophet like you, 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 to him.19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water.

Notice again the young prophets desire to obey the Lord. His motives tho being sincere did not protect him from seeing that the old prophet was lying.

How did the old prophet convince the young one to disobey God’s word? => “I am a prophet like you”

The “old” prophet probably had a reputation of being a prophet of the Lord. The young prophet trusted that they both had the Spirit of the Lord and so thought it was OK to eat & drink with him.

Notice also that the old prophet claims an angel gave him the word to bring the young prophet back to eat & drink. Giving seemingly further proof that he. the old prophet was speaking for the Lord.

Error can not be judged by someone’s claim to be led by the Holy Spirit, even if in the past they have a reputation of being led by the Holy Spirit, even if an angel appears and backs up their words!

Galatians 1:6-10 NASB … I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Look what happens to the young prophet who judged by something other than the Lord’s words.

1 Kings 13:26 NASB … Now when the {old}prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God, who disobeyed the command of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.”

Notice here that the old prophet speaks the truth, a truth he spoke before it came to pass – while he ate & drank with the young prophet.

1 Kings 13:20-22 NASB … Now it came about, as they were sitting down at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have disobeyed the command of the Lord, and have not observed the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have returned and eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which He said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water”; your body shall not come to the grave of your fathers.’

The old prophet speaks both truth and lies
=> his words need to be tested/judged against God’s words every time he speaks.

Another interesting thing to ponder – in death both the body of the young prophet and the old were buried in the same grave  => maybe because the same lie “buried” them both???

1 Kings 13:29-31 NASB … So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. 30 He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” 31 After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
 

Related:
False Teachers and Motives{previous post}

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2 Responses to “Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit”

  1. Discerning Truth from Error | Touching the King! Says:

    […] Faith, Inspiration, Prophetic Art, Devotional « Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit […]

  2. Contending for the Faith not Doctrine?? | Touching the King! Says:

    […] False Teachers and Motives{question 1} Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit{question 2} Discerning Truth from Error{question […]

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