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But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. [Isaiah 59]But this prophet got away with all that [1 Kings 13]. He told a lie and still got Word from God and was even used by Him. To make matters worse, he caused the ill-timed death of a righteous man of God. Instead of him getting punished, God punished the young prophet who risked his life to obey God even if it meant possible death in the hands of a corrupted king, Jeroboam. It shatters our theology, our understanding of sin and it's ill effects on us.
He was an old prophet from Bethel which was then in rebellion against God because of King Jeroboam. Jeroboam started idol worship in Bethel by making two calf idols there and in Dan to keep the Israelites from going to Jerusalem to worship the true God. This was the time the North was separated from the South.
But God sent a young prophet from Judah (south) to rebuke Jeroboam. After being punished by God and saved by the young prophet, Jeroboam invited him for a meal at his house which the prophet turned down due to God's Word to him---that he was not to eat or drink in Israel and not return to Judah in the same way he came.
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When the old prophet heard about his exploits, he went to meet this young prophet. He invited him to dinner. The young prophet refused but later was convinced by the old prophet who lied and managed to lure the young prophet to go back and eat. He told the young prophet that God had changed his mind about his instructions so that now the young prophet could go back the way he came and eat. The young guy bought the lie and bit into the bait. But this angered God, resulting in the violent death of the young prophet. But the old prophet went scot-free.
I think the old prophet should've been given the violent death punishment while the young prophet, because he was merely fooled, should've been punished just a bit lightly. I really think the old prophet is largely to blame here. You'd probably give the same verdict on this. But we're not God and God thought the young prophet was more at fault than the old one.
This gives us a closer insight on prophetic obedience. When God gives us a job, we should stick to his instructions and plan, especially when it involves denouncing sin and wickedness. We should obey to the letter, not swerving to the right or left anytime. We should be careful to the smallest detail. Because those who are privileged with such prophetic tasks are judged more harshly. Hence, James said not all of us should become teachers, "because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."
A lot of church goers love to take on glamorous roles in church, to be seen on stage or occupy high positions. They don't realize that God's work is not a playground. Those who lead are judged more strictly.
Some pastors are forced into ministry. Some smart Aleck thought they should go to bible school, and they went even without hearing anything from God. Later, they became pastors and managed to convince themselves that they were called to pastor. As long as you have a working congregation, you're a pastor. That's what they say. But their fruit say otherwise. Some pastors just couldn't behave properly. Their characters are unbecoming the call. This was among the sins of Jeroboam---he just assigned anybody as priests at his altars---call or no call.
Now, would these pastors be successful? You may be shocked, but God may even give them mega churches to make them look successful and "bless" them as he "blessed" the old prophet who lied. Old prophets look convincing, with all their experiences and "successes" in ministry. And this was among the pitfalls of the young prophet. He didn't stick to God's prophetic Word to him. He judged by looks.
It's not bad to listen to veteran ministers and learn from them, but it's quite another thing when you have a sure spoken Word from God and the old ministers tell you things contrary to it. You should know better. Apostle Peter said we'd rather obey God than men. God expects us to use the wisdom he gives us in discerning right from wrong, especially where a very thin line divides them. Titles, degrees, experience in ministry, high positions, achievements and successes, being respected by lots of people---all these can easily deceive you if you don't stick to God's spoken Word to you.
Adam got God's direct spoken Word about the forbidden fruit but he still listened to his wife Eve who listened to old, wise and experienced Satan.
But don't get me wrong. God wants us to submit to authority. We should obey people above us, those whose authority we are under, especially in church. God wants order. But sometimes, a crisic situation arises when those in authority misuse their power and issue commands and policies contrary to what God says in his Word.
Higher-ups are so prone to this. Power and greed corrupt them. They become like the old prophet---they lie with straight faces and mislead you to your fall especially if they see your potential. The power-greedy is often jealous and envious of those they see are genuinely anointed by God. They do all sorts of controversies and issues and throw them against the true man of God.
And are men of God immune to this? Nope. If they don't hold fast to the Word of God, especially the spoken Word, they will fall, even with an ugly thud.
The lion who killed the young prophet actually impressed me. He stuck to God's instruction to him. God told him to kill the young prophet, and only the young prophet did he kill. The donkey where the young prophet rode on was there, yet the lion never touched it. People passed by and the old prophet arrived at the scene, yet the lion didn't touch them. The lion obeyed God's command to the letter.
What can we learn here?
First, we should discipline ourselves to stick to the Word, not swayed by anything contrary to it. Second, we should respect pastors and submit to those in authority, but remember that not all believers or servants or church leaders can be trusted. This passage in the bible is proof. God cannot lie. But people can easily lie and sometimes deliberately mislead us, even people in church, for their own ends. I've personally seen this several times.
Third, anointing can still operate even if you're in sin. God's call and gifts are irrevocable [Romans 11.29]. Don't think that your sin is okay just because your anointing still works---you still preach good, the sick gets well when you pray for them, your prophesying is still accurate. All these anointing gifts can still work while you soak in sin.
But then again, the fourth thing we should understand is that, neither can anointing save us when we disobey. When God's wrath falls on you, your anointing will not save you.
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