Volume Nine, Issue One
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
The feature article in this issue is "A Chink In The Armor" by Jacob Prasch, edited for print by Sandy Simpson, recorded at Discernment Conference 2001, Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI, 3/11/01. This edited article is also available on video and audio tape here:
This message is a very important one for the church today. We must practice biblical separation from individuals and groups who are teaching false doctrines, promoting false prophecies, and practicing unbiblical things. We must separate over the important issues, core doctrinal issues, because the Bible tells us to do it. We are to admonish false teachers, then reject them if they continue to teach things that divide instead of build us up in the unity of the Faith, in sound doctrine. Paul warned the Church through Timothy of those who had abandoned sound doctrine, by name. He told us to hold on to sound doctrine and to guard the Faith:
2 Tim. 1:13-14 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you— guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.Churches and individual Christians who desire to remain true to Jesus Christ must obey His commands. They must separate themselves holy unto the Lord and away from wolves who have come in via the television, videos, books and tapes.
1 Jn. 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but TEST the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.Concerning the last days, he says that some will have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such
Rom. 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them "
Titus 1: 13 "Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith "
Eph. 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them "
II Thess. 3:6 "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us "
11 John 10, 11 "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds "There are mission groups and churches in almost every country of the world who are working directly with false prophets and false teachers. We must not let these people leaven faithful churches away from the Truth, because Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Those who love the truth prove they love the Lord.
Titus 3: 10 "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject "
II Cor. 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no the unclean thing; and I will receive you "
1 John 2:4 The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.Those who do not obey the Lord prove they do not love Him.
John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.Anyone who is truly born again will be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit. But they must respond in repentance and faith, otherwise they can shipwreck their faith and be destroyed. Many churches today are about to be shipwrecked on the reefs of ecumenism and the New Apostolic Reformation. They must return to obedience to the written Word and separate from heretical organizations and individuals if they are to be of any value to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that many church leaders will not fall into the trap of false unity, but will heed the call to return to a full obedience to the Lord by practicing biblical separation from those how are living in disobedience.
John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
John 14:24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
John 15:10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
LETTERS TO THE CHURCH is a fitting manual for the Revelation Christian. All the precepts are in the seven letters in Revelation 1:9 - 3:22 to help us keep the faith, stay in sound doctrine, and reach out to those who are perishing. I hope and pray that this book will help the reader to be an “overcomer”.
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On Benny Hinn!
SPIRIT OF TRUTH OR SPIRIT OF ERROR?
PART 1 - BENNY HINN features Jacob Prasch, Mike Oppenheimer & Sandy Simpson and tons of video showing the teachings and prophecies of Benny Hinn. This is a proven tool to keep people away from heresy.
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In His hands,
Sandy Simpson, missionary
In The Armor
by Jacob Prasch
edited for print by Sandy Simpson
Discernment Conference 2001
Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, HI
Greetings dear friends in the wonderful name of Jesus. When the Holy Spirit gives us more than one account of something in the Bible it's important and, just as you have four gospel accounts of the same story, in the Old Testament you have Kings and Chronicles, two aspects of the same thing, plus whatever prophet or prophets prophesied during that time. You will find three and four aspects of the same episodes in the Old Testament just as you have in the Gospels. When the Holy Spirit gives us more than one record of something, it's important. Turn with me please to 2 Chron. 18. This is the parallel account to what we find in 1 Kings 22 but we're reading now from 2 Chron. 18:1-34 - 19:3. Starting in verse 1:
2 Chron. 18:1 "Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor and allied himself by marriage with Ahab."Look out for nepotism. Point 1: It is a point of vulnerability. Family loyalties get in the way of doctrinal loyalties. When you see people allied by marriage, or this pastor is that pastor's cousin, or his sister is married to the pastor--when you see family connections, look out. Anything God intends for good the devil will use for evil. God created families, he created the family structure. But you know what, Jesus said he who loves family more then Me is not worthy of Me. My wife's family were Holocaust survivors, Jews from Eastern Europe who survived the Holocaust. When my wife came to believe that Jesus, Yeshua, was the Jewish Messiah, she was told "Now you're one of them. They killed us, now you've become one of them." Family loyalties. The devil will use something God intends for good for evil if he can. Nepotism is the first thing that can predispose a good Christian to compromise with things that he knows are wrong. But let's continue reading this sorry episode about Jehoshaphat. His name in Hebrew is Y@howshaphat yeh-ho-shaw-fawt--Jehovah shall judge--Jehovah shall be judge or shall judge. And in verse 2:
2 Chron. 18:2-7 "And some years later he was down to visit Ahab at Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him and induced him to go up against Ramath-Gilead. And Ahab, king of Isreal, said to Jehashaphat King of Judah "Will you go up with me against Ramath-Gilead?" And he said to him "I am as you are and my people as your people and we will be with you in the battle." Moreover Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel "Please inquire first for the Word of the Lord." Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them "Shall we go up against Ramath-Gilead to battle or shall I refrain." And they said "Go up and God will give it into the hand of the king." But Jehoshapat said "Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we inquire of him?" And the king of Israel said to Jehoshapat "There is yet one man by whom we shall inquire of the Lord but I hate him for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil. He is Micaiah, (that is "he who is like unto Yahweh) son of Imlah." But Jehoshaphat said "Let not the King say so."I hate him, he never prophesies good. False prophets will always tell people what they want to hear. True prophets will only tell people what they need to hear. Verse 8:
2 Chron. 18:8-34 - 19:3 "Then the king of Israel called and officer and said "Bring quickly Micaiah, Imlah's son." 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. And Zedekiah, the son of Hanana, made horns of iron for himself and said "Thus says the Lord, with these shall you gore the Aramaians until they are consumed". And all the prophets were prophesying thus saying "Go up to Ramath-Gilead and succeed for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king." Then the messenger who came to him spoke 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." But Micaiah said "As the Lord God lives, what my God says that I will speak." And when he came to the king the king said to him "Micaiah, shall we go up to Ramath-Gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?" And he said "Go up and succeed for they will be given into your hand." Then the king said to him, "How many times must I adjure you to speak nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord." 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." Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshapat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me but evil?" And Micaiah said "Therefore hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne and all the hosts of heaven standing on His right and on His left, and the Lord said "Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramath-Gilead?" And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said "I will entice him". And the Lord said to him "How?" And he said "I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all of his prophets". Then He said "You are to go and entice him and prevail also, go and do so." 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." Then Zedekiah the son of Hanana came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said "How did the spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?" And Micaiah said "Behold, you shall see on that day when you enter in a room to hide yourself." Then the king said, "Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash the kings son and say "Thus says the king. Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely." And Micaiah said "If you indeed return safely, the Lord has not spoken by me." And he said "Listen all you people." So the king of Israel and Jehashapat king of Judah went up against Ramath-Gilead. And the king of Israel said to Jehoshapat "I will disguise myself and go into battle." But you put on your robes." So the king of Israel dressed himself and they went into battle. 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." 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. Then it happened when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel that they turned backed from pursuing him. And a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint (or in a chink) of his armor. So he said to the driver of the chariot "Turn around and take me out of the fight for I am severely wounded." 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. Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the Seer went out to meet him and said to king Jehoshaphat "Did you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself? But there is some good in you for you have removed the Ashteroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God."King Jehoshapat was a good man, a righteous man. Every king of Israel was a backslider. Most of the kings of Judah were backslidden. But Jehoshaphat was a good king, in fact a very good king. What happens when good leaders become involved with bad ones? I do not believe in guilt by association. The Bible says nothing about guilt by association. But guilt by cooperation? Guilt by participation? Guilt by identification? When a good man will get on a platform or on a television program with somebody who is heretical, with someone who is apostate or immoral, you are implicitly endorsing that person's ministry and allowing yourself to be identified with him. I was watching some TBN just yesterday. I couldn't believe how horrific some of it was. When an unsaved person watches that, they think that being born again is a con job. They've made "born again" a household joke all over the world, at least for people all over the developed world. It's getting more and more difficult to share Jesus, to preach the gospel, to give the message of salvation to the lost because of what Satan has done with Christian TV, so called. We'd be better off with no Christian TV than 99% of what we have today, I'm convinced. Anything that powerful Satan had to corrupt, and he's done it. Unsaved people see the idiot box and they think we're all idiots. They think we're all con artists. If good men go on there they become identified with the bad men. When Jehoshaphat rode in the chariot of Ahab, he became confused with Ahab.
But let's look at the passage from the beginning. Again the Holy Spirit has given us more than one account. In the I Kings version at the end of chapter 21 Ahab repented. Bad kings are great for repenting, but every time they repent they come back twice as notorious as they had been. If Benny Hinn repents again I'm going to duck for cover. Every time that man repents he comes back worse. What does this mean? Why? He is married to Jezebel. Jezebel is a biblical metaphor for the spirit of false religion. What does the Lord Jesus say of Jezebel?
Revelation 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.It is a Satanic seduction by false religion of which the woman Jezebel is typologically the personification. In other words, she represents spiritual seduction, that's what Jesus said. You become like the people you're married to.
I'm married to a Jewish neurotic. I think it's the family history of escaping Pogras. My wife checks the gas jets three times before we go to sleep, and she checks every window in the house at least twice. We live in England. Here it is, late at night, she put the lights out and she'll say to me in Hebrew "Yacov ... "Did you check the window in the kitchen?" "Yes, Pavia I checked the window in the kitchen, good night." Did I check that window in the kitchen? No, she's making me nuts. I take a flashlight down three flights of stairs, the kids sleep on the second floor, we sleep on the top, and the kitchen's on the ground floor, so there I go late at night.
You become like the people you're married to. Well, Ahab is married to Jezebel, the seductress who beguiled Israel into pagan demonic belief. What happens next. Jehoshaphat is a good king but there's a family connection. Nepotism. I know two Jewish mission boards that were undermined, basically destroyed by nepotism--two mission boards to the Jews became family enterprises. I've known churches where family loyalties destroyed the fellowship. If somebody disagreed it was like going against the family. Dangerous thing. Anything God intends for good the devil will use for evil and nepotism predisposes us to certain things.
But going back to 2 Chron. 18 here is the line you'll always get, this is what Ahab will say. "We have a common enemy. My people are as your people, my God is as your God, we're brothers. We have to have unity, we have to be united to overcome the opposition. Can't you see, the abortion rate is going through the roof? Can't you see homosexuality is influencing the schools and the media? Can't you see eastern religion and the cults are growing? We can't afford to be divided. We have to stand together to save God's land. We have to be united. We can't go on bickering against each other. Oh, I know we've had our differences but we can't afford that anymore. There's a common enemy. My people are as your people, my God is as your God. After all we're all born again Christians." Sounds very convincing, sounds very logical. To a degree it even sounds initially biblical.
As I pointed out yesterday the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and He is the spirit of Holiness. There cannot be a unity of the Spirit where there is heresy and immorality. Oh, we have a common enemy! And external enemy is easy to deal with. An internal enemy is something else. When Jesus warned about false prophets of the last days He was not primarily warning about the Moonies or the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons. I have no doubt that the proliferation of the cults is in itself of some prophetic significance, but those are not the false prophets He was mainly warning about. He's warning about those who would come into evangelical churches and try to seduce us. It is the internal enemies that are the most dangerous. Until we deal with the enemy in here we are not going to be in a position to deal with the one out there.
But you'll always get the same story "Don't be negative. Don't be too critical. We have to unite. We have to stand together in face of the common threat." And then as the family element comes in, look out. Look how the king ingratiates himself. Ahab puts on a big party, a big splurge. He slaughters all these animals and he throws a big, big banquet. That's what he does. These people know how to ingratiate themselves. People with an agenda know how to con and manipulate. They learn it from their wife, Jezebel. Look at how many people have met John Paul II. The Vatican a few months ago issued a statement saying it was the one true Church. In Mexico in 1999 John Paul II told the Catholics to "rise up against the Protestants", quote unquote. He makes no secret of his agenda. A man who says Mary co-redeemed us? A man who prays to the dead. Makes not secret of his agenda. Yet one evangelical after another will call him the "holy father" despite the fact that Jesus said "call no man your father." And they say "oh, the pope was so wonderful, so gracious. He's such a kind man. How can you speak against him? I met him, he was so this, he was so that ...". They know how to ingratiate themselves. What does Paul say about Lucifer? He comes as an angel of light. And so will his servants. They know how to ingratiate themselves. Just like Merodach-Baladan came to seduce Hezekiah. He brought him some presents. "I heard you were ill." Oh, what a caring person. He was the king of Babylon, he had an agenda, he was a manipulating con artist.
Well, king Jehoshaphat gets sucked in. There's a family connection but then there are other connections, "Yeah, we have a common enemy. We can't be negative. We shouldn't be critical. We don't want to be divisive." The word "divisive" in Romans 16:17 is dichostasia dee-khos-tas-ee where you get the English word dichotomy. It says divisive people are the ones who leave the teaching of the New Testament, who depart from the doctrine of the Apostles. I'm not divisive by warning about Benny Hinn or Kenneth Copeland. If the Benny Hinns and Kenneth Copelands have gone away from the teachings of the New Testament, they are the divisive ones by biblical definition. I haven't departed from New Testament doctrine. If I did, please show me where, I want to repent of it. But these days it's the one who upholds New Testament doctrine who becomes divisive. They make an idol out of this unity but it's not the unity of the Spirit. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 11:19 there must be factions among you to prove which is true. That word for factions in Greek is hairesis hah’-ee-res-is where we get the word heresy. Heresy is meant to bring division. And so much of what's being propagated in the Church today is purely heretical.
But let's go further. Jehoshaphat gets sucked in but he has his doubts. He's a good king and he is, to some degree, hearing from the Lord. Notice what they do at the banquet. One false prophet after another, 400 of them, come and put on a show and give positive words. False prophets will always tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. They'll always tickle your ears and be well-paid for the privilege. They are con men. A true prophet was outnumbered 400 to 1. Well, I'll tell you what, for everybody telling the truth today in the prophetic there are "400 false prophets" in the body of Christ. What Jesus said would happen in the last days is happening. Very few are telling the truth, many are compromising with what they know is false, but very, very, very many are giving you a lot of hype and false doctrine. Only one man stood up, Micaiah, but at the end of the day it was only his prophesy that mattered. You see in the days of Jeremiah and Baruch there were thousands of false prophets, thousands, but nobody has ever heard of them. At the end of the day everybody heard of Jeremiah. It is only he who really speaks God's word, who's gonna matter. That's the bottom line, the one prophet who tells the truth.
So Jehoshaphat says "Let me hear him." Now you have to understand the Hebrew language. There's a connection between the name Micaiah "he who is like unto Yahweh" and J@hoshaphat "Jehovah/Yahweh" In Hebrew there's a root that shows etymological similitude. If you don't know what that is, don't worry about it. It's one of those things they teach you in theological cemetery, I mean seminary. There's a kindred spirit of some sort here. Micaiah comes. Now notice what Micaiah says when they ask him. At first Micaiah says "Yeah, go ahead, God will give them into your hand." He says the same things the false prophets say. God's judgment comes in three phases on a backslidden people.
The first phase is "Yeah, go ahead." He stops correcting. It is the son whom He loves that he corrects. Why is it that faithful Christians have the most of what we call in Yiddish "suris" problems, trials, difficulties? It's because God has given the carnal Christian over to their own fleshly desires. He's only trying to correct the faithful ones. That's why faithful Christians have more problems than unfaithful ones. It's only the son He loves whom He corrects. The others are backslidden, if they were ever saved to begin with. God stops correcting. Watch out when God stops correcting, when He gives over. In Romans He gives people over to unnatural depravity, then that happens to those who claim to be His people. It's like the prophet Amos' son Loammi--"they're not my people anymore". God gives them over. "Go ahead, do it" says Micaiah.
Now King Ahab knows this is not what God is saying. You see these wicked men, wicked leaders, know they're crooked. It says in Timothy that they are both deceiving and being deceived. For they are deceived themselves but they also know their deceivers. "Go ahead, do it". Ahab knows it and says "That can't be right". Ahab knew it. So tell me, says Ahab, and Micaiah says "I'll tell you. I saw Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep which have no shepherd."
Now you have to understand the role of the kings of Israel as a shepherd. King David is the Old Testament shadow of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd in John 10. In Ps. 23 Y@hovah ra‘ah The Lord is my shepherd. David is the Old Testament type or shadow of Jesus as King. How good a pastor (the word for pastor and shepherd's the same word in Hebrew and Greek) how good a pastor/shepherd somebody is in the Church is how much like Jesus they are. Peter tells us that in his epistle. How good a shepherd a pastor is depends on how much like Jesus he is. The Old Testament shadow of this is seen in how good a king was, and that was measured by how much like king David he was. That's why you see kings in Proverbs or kings in Chronicles compared to David. "He went after me like his father David" or "You have not sought me as your father David did". David becomes the barometer of faithfulness because he's the shadow of Christ as Shepherd. Here Micaiah says "These people, they don't have any shepherd." He's telling the king, as far as God's concerned, you're not a real leader.
That is the second stage of God's judgment on a backslidden people. He removes leadership and replaces them with pulpit politicians. He removes leaders, He replaces them with hirelings. He removes leaders, He let's them have theocrats--not shepherds. First phase of God's judgment, He stops correcting--treats people just like the world, gives them over. Second stage of his judgment, he removes real leadership. People wind up with the leaders they deserve. That's true of nations in the book of Daniel. He establishes kings and removes kings. It's true in the political realm and it's true in the Church. He removes leadership.
But then comes the third phase of God's judgment and that's the frightening one. He sends a deception. Remember in Kings and Chronicles and in Samuel--one time David numbered the people, the Lord motivated him to do it--and another time it was the devil. Was it the Lord or was it the devil who motivated David to number the people? Well, it was actually God using the devil. Turn with me please to 2 Thes. 2 where it speaks of the antichrist, the man of perdition. It's speaking of the last days. It's speaking in verse 3 of the apostasia, in Greek, the falling away that will come with the manifestation of the antichrist. But look what it says in verse 11.
2 Thes. 2:11 "For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false in order that may all may be judged who did no believe in the truth but took pleasure in wickedness."The Truth is the Word of God. Jesus is the Truth, He's the Word, the Logos. If somebody doesn't love the Truth of Scripture, they don't love Jesus Christ. They can say all they want, have all the hallelujahs they want--if they don't love the Truth of the Word of God they don't love the Word of God Who is Jesus, the Incarnate Logos. If you don't love the Bible you don't love Jesus Christ as far as God's concerned, that's it. "If you love Me keep My commandments." You don't love Him if you don't love His Word. And if people don't love the Truth, they don't love Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. And if they don't love Him it tells us why. It's because, in some way, they are taking pleasure in wickedness. When you find so called Christians who don't love the truth it's because they are taking pleasure in wickedness. Therefore the Lord will send upon them a deluding influence that they may believe what is false. How will the antichrist con people? He's the ultimate judgment. God gives them over to his influence. If people can't see through an obvious false prophet and false teacher like Benny Hinn, if you can't see through Benny Hinn, or Kenneth Copeland, what is going to happen when this stuff comes down? Therefore the Lord will send a deluding influence. In the book of Zechariah typologically the antichrist is called the "agent of God." It's a frightening prospect. It is a judgment.
Several years ago, in England where I live, I was frantically trying to stop the explosion of the things like the laughing and drunken revival from Toronto and Pensacola. I was trying to stop it but the Lord said "No, don't. You're not going to stop this." You can only warn the elect. You can rescue those who are honestly deceived but you can't stop it. Why? What you see today with the money preachers, the faith prosperity heretics; what you see with Toronto; what you see with the ecumenical movement--these things are not simply deceptions, they are judgments from God on a backslidden Church. It is God's judgment on Laodecia. The Lord will send a delusion that they may believe what is false. Remember that Laodecia is blind. It's first problem is that it doesn't know it's Laodecia. The Lord will send a delusion. Judgment begins in the house of God. It will not begin on Freemasons. It will not begin on false religions. It will not begin on corrupt businessmen on Wall Street or corrupt politicians. It begins in the house of God. Judgment will come on the Church before it comes on this nation, and it's coming on this nation. For abortion alone it must come, but it will come on the Church first.
Phase 1, God stops correcting. If you can't seen through this, all the scandals with PTL and the rest of it--if you can't see through it God will give you over to it. He'll stop correcting.
Phase 2, He'll remove real leadership. And he's already done that in Great Britain. America is going the same way.
Phase 3, then He'll send a delusion. Notice what God tells these lying spirits "Go and prevail." Go and succeed. Now when God sends a delusion look out. However He does nothing without revealing it to His servants, the prophets. Micaiah knew it. Those who really love Jesus and read His Word will understand by the Spirit of God what is going on. When the Lord sends this kind of a judgment, those who are truly His will know it. Three stages of judgment and, my friends, my great fear, and in fact it's no longer a fear it is past that--we've come into that third phase. God is certainly, certainly not correcting these people anymore. He's given them over, treating them like the unsaved, and many of them are unsaved. He's removing leadership, and thirdly He's going to give them over.
So there they go to battle now. Look at Jehoshaphat, a righteous king who should have known better. He was suspicious to begin with, he had a true word from a true prophet, and yet there he goes riding in Ahab's chariot. Why did Ahab want him in the chariot. Why does TBN want to get people like Josh McDowell, Greg Laurie and Chuck Smith on it? Why do they want to get good men, godly men on it. There's three reasons.
First, they're trying to give themselves a credibility they can't get otherwise. People then think: "Well, if so and so is on there and he's a man of God it must be all right." They're trying to get an endorsement. They're trying to give themselves a credibility that they couldn't get on their own. "I know I'm no good but if I align myself with somebody who is good God will bless me." That's how they think. "If he's in on it then God will have to bless us cause he's a good guy."
Secondly, they're looking for a fall guy. They're looking for somebody to be left holding the bag when the ship sinks. "Its his fault." Ahab always has an agenda. But there goes Jehoshaphat! Even though the Lord warned him, he gets in that chariot. And what happens when he gets in that chariot?
Three, he becomes confused with Ahab. They think it's Ahab. When you ride in Ahab's chariot you become confused with Ahab, people confuse you with him. When people see good preachers on platforms at conferences and on television with heretics, you become confused with them. I know very, very well that Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie are men of God. I know that Josh McDowell is a man of God. I know what they believe. They believe largely what I believe. These are not bad men, these are good men like Jehoshaphat. But when they get on a platform or on the TV screen with bad men, people put them in the same category and they make themselves a target. "Oh, he's one of them." And a young believer will see this. It gives heretics credibility, even though the good men know personally it's wrong. Now Jehoshaphat has made himself a target. He's allowed himself to be confused with Ahab and now he's a target and the arrows are flying. Ahab wants somebody to hold the bag, and I'm telling you that TBN and Hinn and that crowd--they are going to go the same way as the PTL club. And I tremble for the good brethren who have allowed themselves to be identified with that wickedness, but they're gonna be caught in the crossfire when it happens.
But let's go further. Jehoshaphat calls out to the Lord. God intervenes. The Lord steps in and saves his neck. God will stand by right men. Right men can make bad mistakes. Godly men can make serious errors. Some of the greatest men in the Bible did some of the most foolish things. In my own life as a Christian I have done things that have been so, not just wrong, but stupid, I don't know how I could have done it. I take no pleasure in admitting it, nonetheless it is true. But God is gracious. God saved Jehoshaphat's neck the first time.
Let's see what happens next. So they go after Ahab. Ahab is trying to be slick, trying to find the fall guy, but he didn't take account of something. There was a chink in his armor. In Eph. 6:13 we see what that armor is. The chink here is where the breastplate met the shoulder. The breastplate of "righteousness". Sin finds people out--finds the chink in the armor. I once saw a Roman legionnaire's armor on display in Rome. It's very big and the biggest is the breastplate. The breastplate of righteousness. When Paul ordered the armor he used something that Jews would have understood because the armor is also in Isaiah. But is also something the Greeks and Romans would have understood well. The armor was there, the breastplate of righteousness. Rom. 6;13 says we are to put it on that you may stand firm. Ahab put on his armor but there was chink in it, and that arrow found it. He came into judgment and was destroyed. They didn't get the victory over the Arameains.
They didn't get it. Look at what he says in 1 Kings 22:3 "Do you not know that Ramath-Gilead belongs to us and we're doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?" "We've got to get the victory over these unbelievers, over these pagans, over the homosexual lobby, over the pro abortion lobby, over the Moslems, over the Freemasons, over the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses. We've got to get the victory. We have to claim the land back for Christ. We've got to stand together." That's what they say. They will never get the victory over the enemy. Never! A false brother is not your ally. He is your liability. He'll never win. God won't use people like that. There's a chink in their armor.
So what happens next. They lose the battle but a gracious and merciful God intervenes and Jehoshaphat's behalf. Then in 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the Seer went out to meet him and said "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and bring wrath on yourself?" Should you help the wicked? They hate the Lord. These money preachers hate the real Jesus Christ. They worship mammon. They may call their god "Jesus", but their god is mammon. They call the sin of covetousness "faith". They have a different god, a different "Jesus". They hate the real Jesus. They don't want a Jesus who says "pick up your cross and follow me" they want a "Jesus" who is going to give you another Mercedes. And they admit it. They're false brethren. And when you ride in his chariot, you ride in his Mercedes, you get on his TV show--you're gonna get confused with him and make yourself a target, and nothing other than the intervention of the merciful God will save your neck. Why do you get involved with those who hate the Lord? What are you on that idiot TV show? Why are you on that platform with these heretics? Can't you see you see you'll be confused with them? Can't you see that you're gonna give the impression to the unbelievers that you agree with them?
I only wish that Jehoshaphat, a good king, had listened. But we find out 2 Chron. 20 that he didn't. Verse 35:
2 Chron. 20:35-37 "And after this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel ..."
He does it again.
"... and acted wickedly in so doing. So he allied himself with him to take many ships to Tarshish and they made the ships in Etsion Geber, which is near Aloch. Then Eliezeer the son of Dodavahu of Marash prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying 'Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.' So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish."
The second time, God's judgment comes. The first time God rescues him and rebukes him. The second time, "Are you going to do it again?" And they do it again. They lose all they've built. You see men of God, who built what God has blessed and used, put those things at risk for the folly of riding in Ahab's chariot, for going on idiot TV. Why? Chuck Smith is a man of God. Greg Laurie is a man of God. Josh McDowell's a man of God. There are enough churches, enough people and enough money in Calvary Chapels to make their own Christian TV channels. They don't need to get involved with those people, and I say that in love. But it's not just them. How can good men get involved with the ecumenical movement? How can you get involved with these people? This is Hawaii, you see more of it on the mainland, but in the mainland in most Calvary Chapels nearly three out of four people are ex-Roman Catholics. How many people here are ex-Roman Catholics? Put your hands up. See these people? The Roman Catholic church says "You are going to hell because you left the one true church; because you no longer believe that salivation is by sacraments; because you no longer believe that you're gonna atone for your own sin in purgatory." Yet major evangelical leaders, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, one after another are lining up with the very "church" whose cursing them, that is sending their families to hell? I've got a Catholic mother who trusts in a statue of Mary for her salvation instead of Jesus Christ. How can good men get involved with that? But then again, once God corrects them, how good can they be involved? But they're doing it.
Nepotism, family loyalty, friendship--"I've known him 20 years. My brother's married to his sister"--all this predisposes you to it. Then they give you the line "We have to be united. We have to stand together. We have a common enemy. There's a common threat. We're all brothers. We're all born again, one Faith one Baptism. Let's stand together. We can't be negative, we can't be critical, we have to accept each other." Why do you love those who hate the Lord? God warned Jehoshaphat. See, he knew those 400 false prophets were false. All these guys--the Kansas City prophets and all these hype artists, Rick Joyner, one after another, are proven false prophets by biblical definition. They are proven false prophets. They're as false as the false prophets of any other cult. Jehoshaphat knew it. They give a big banquet, a big show, a big celebration praise, a big Pensacola Pepsi Cola Seven-Up, whatever it is this week. One after another, prophesying victory, but there is no victory. Now God's judgment comes.
He stops correcting, he removes real leadership, and he gives them over to it.
And they get angry at Micaiah, they smack him. They say "You're the false prophet." Bang. "Lock him up till I get back." And Micaiah says "No you're not coming back, otherwise I'm a false prophet." Notice only a true prophet will prophesy something in the name of the Lord and say "hold me to it." A Rick Joyner or a Gerald Coates will never do that. A Kim Clement will never do that. They hate the true prophet even though he's right. Then Jehoshaphat goes right out and steps into Ahab's chariot. He becomes confused with Ahab and they begin shooting him. God is merciful. But then God rebukes. God corrects but he still doesn't listen, he does it again. Then his ships are broken up and he never makes it to Tarshish.
What a tragedy when God has blessed and raised people up and given them something to do, then all they've built crumbles. They never reach the goal. They never make their appointed destiny. They never get to where God meant for them to go and do what He has for them to do. They lose it. You ride in Ahab's chariot, you become identified with Ahab. You're in bed with him, he's in bed with Jezebel. You're in bed with the pope, the pope's in bed with the Dali Lama. That's what it comes to.
That's the way it was, that's the way it is, that's the way it's gonna be.
The prayer of my heart is that the Jehoshaphats of our day, the godly men, men I know are good men, will get out of that chariot before they get shot. Get off that idiot TV box, get off that platform, don't give Ahab a place in your church, don't distribute that literature, don't sell those books in your bookshop, do not love those who hate the Lord your God. (Applause)
Jehoshaphat was a good man, a good man who made bad errors. And right before our eyes there are good men today making that same bad errors. May God in His mercy correct them and protect us. God bless you and thank you.
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