I never want to be one who doubts someone else’s gift or becomes resistant to God’s Holy Spirit. But Scripture also tells us that not everything we hear truly comes from Him. If this has left you wondering how we can know when a “word” comes from God or human pride and sin, you’ll gain encouragement from today’s post by guest blogger, A. C. Williams.
When “Prophets” Lie to You
by A. C. Williams
How is your sense of direction? I can’t find my way out of a paper bag without help. But every now and then, I’ll get to drive somewhere familiar. In those instances, as long as the landmarks haven’t changed, I can find my way just fine.
But I’m still monstrously insecure about it, so anyone sitting in my passenger seat can change my mind if they question the route I’m taking. I’ve grown in confidence now, but it doesn’t take much for someone to make me question the direction I’m going.
The Bible tells us a challenging story about misdirection in 1 Kings 13. You really need the whole chapter to get the context, but for brevity’s sake, God sent a prophet to King Jeroboam to tell him to straighten up. He was the first king of the divided kingdom of Israel, leader of the ten tribes in the north (1 Kings 12:20).
This prophet, who remains unnamed, is righteous and careful to obey God’s Word in everything he does. So when multiple people invite him to stay and eat a meal, he declines. Why? Because God told him not to eat or drink anything there (1 Kings 13:8-10).
And that’s where the plot thickens. Another prophet enters the story, an older prophet. He’s also unnamed, but we know he comes from Bethel. This guy chases the first prophet down and invites him to a meal. As you would expect, the first prophet declines.
But then the old prophet throws a curveball: He claims an angel of the Lord gave the first prophet permission to eat with him.
Why would the first prophet doubt his claim? He is a prophet, after all. So he goes. He eats. And then God declares that he will die because he disobeyed. And he does.
Yup. You guessed it. The old prophet lied to him. No angel had come to him. God hadn’t changed His mind. And both prophets faced the consequences.
This is a hard story to swallow, I think, because it’s triggering. How many of us have experienced something similar? We submit to spiritual abuse in a church because a respected elder claims it’s God’s will. We hand over our authority to connect with God personally because a pastor or priest tells us we need an intermediary other than Jesus.
I wish it weren’t the case, but for all of us, someone we consider a spiritual mentor or leader in our lives will likely lie to us. Only God knows why, and that’s between Him and that leader.
But what does that mean for us? Should we question everything we are told about Scripture and how to apply it to our lives?
There’s nothing wrong with having a spiritual leader you respect, whose teachings speak to you. But never allow a spiritual leader’s interpretation of Scripture to contradict Scripture itself. The only way to do that is to know what the Bible says, to understand who God is, and to trust God’s Word and His Spirit more than what any man or woman tells you.
Anyone—man, woman, or even angel—who asks you to trust their word more than what is written in the Bible is lying to you. For whatever reason, some people twist God’s Truth to manipulate others. We need to be aware of this so we aren’t fooled when they try that on us.
Be confident in Scripture. Know God Himself. And don’t be fooled by the pretenders who only want to control you.
About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks won’t match. An AWSA Golden Scrolls finalist and an editor at Uncommon Universes Press, she believes that God works miracles through stories. Learn more about her coaching services at www.amycwilliams.com and subscribe to her daily devotional emails at www.alwayspeachy.com. Amy is offering a special: the first seven days free, then $5/month. https://acwilliams.substack.com/arisedaily