A lying spirit from the Lord?
2 Chronicles 18
There was a great king in Judah who followed in the steps of his Father David, establishing the Kingdom by military might and teaching the Law of the Lord throughout the cities of Judah. He grew greater and greater in riches and honor, and at the height of his popularity he allied himself with Ahab, King of Israel by marrying his daughter.
Now Ahab was a wicked King, a King who walked in the way of his father Jeroboam who had rebelled against Solomon and divided the land. Ahab did great evil in the sight of the Lord, and his worst sin was to marry Jezebel the daughter of the King of Sidonia. King Ahab loved his wife and erected an altar of Baal for her in the royal city of Samaria.
Jehoshaphat, the great King of Judah, went down to visit his father in law in Samaria, and after a great feast in his honour was induced by Ahab to go and fight against their common enemy in Ramoth Gilead. He first committed himself to help his wife`s evil Father, and then once having made the commitment he thought it would also be nice to enquire of the Lord and get some back up.
All the Prophets came out and created a big spectacle, four hundred of them, all promising blessings and success to the satisfaction of all who were present. Except Jehoshaphat, who felt uneasy about the display and asked if there was not a prophet of the Lord. Yes, said Ahab, there is one, Micaiah, but I hate him because he always prophesies evil.
Nevertheless Jehoshaphat felt that wanted to be right with the Lord and insisted on having Micaiah come and address them. When the Lord's prophet arrived he found the false prophets giving a theatrical display before the two Kings who were arrayed in their robes and sitting on their thrones. One of the false prophets, Zedekiah, had made horns of iron for himself and was sweeping up and down demonstrating how the victory would be won! One can imagine the fever pitch excitement at the prospect of all the success which was being held up to their foolish imaginations.
The Kings messenger tried to convince Micaiah to endorse all the blessing prophecies, but Micaiah replied that he would only speak what the Lord God gave him to say. The party was over.
Micaiah, shall we go up to Ramoth Gilead in battle, or shall I refrain?
Go up and succeed, for they will be given into your hand said Micaiah.
In fact it was the Lord actually saying this, since Micaiah would only speak what God told him to say. Have you also been hearing the Lord saying this to you?
Somehow they knew this was not the right answer. This is the profile of deception. Deep in their hearts they knew the truth of what God really wanted, but actually, they did not want to hear it. Come on; tell us the truth, Micaiah!
The Lord has promised your business will be successful! You are going to have an international ministry! Thus says the Lord, you will be the head and not the tail! You will be blessed as you go out and as you come in! Blessed will be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your stalls!
Therefore hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host 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 Ramoth Gilead?
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 his prophets. Then God said, Go and do so.
Now therefore the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.
Nevertheless, the Kings of Israel and Judah did not heed the warning of this unpopular prophet, and chose rather to listen to the sweet words of the four hundred. They went up into battle. Ahab tried to deceive God by disguising himself in the clothes of a common soldier, but a stray arrow from the Lord struck him in the joint of his armour and he died.
When Jehoshaphat returned to safety in Judah after this humiliating defeat, a prophet of the Lord asked him, Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord?
And this is what the Lord is still saying today, in an age when the prophets of Baal and the prophets of the Lord have become so mixed up that we find both represented before the people of God, in stark contrast to each other. To which are we to pay heed, to the prophets of wealth, health and success or to the few voices that only ever prophesy evil? Jehoshaphat was a man of God, yet the clear testimony of God`s word through Micaiah was not enough to turn him from the disastrous path that he had chosen to heed. The Lord God himself sent forth lying spirits to deceive those hearts that were not wholly for him.
Paul writes in the New Testament that divisions are necessary so that those who are the approved might become evident. We should not be astonished when the Lord himself raises up lying spirits to parade arrogantly through the church drawing after themselves every covetous heart and ambitious spirit from our ranks, for when the separation is complete those who remain and are approved will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. The tares will be gathered up and burned with fire, so it shall be at the end of the Age.
Let us allow the Lord to complete his work and not be distressed at what is taking place because we think that he has lost control. A massive falling away must take place for the Church to be purified. Lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of this world will be drawn after those whom God has raised up to purify his church. I am reminded of the Pied Piper of Hamlin leading all the rats to destruction with his pleasant tune.
Habakkuk was astonished that God could raise up Babylon, a fierce and impetuous people who march throughout the earth seizing dwelling places that are not theirs. Their justice and their authority originate with themselves. However, God brought these scoundrels to purify his people. We are living today in the last days of the church age, a time that corresponds to the time of Jeremiah and Zedekiah.
Jerusalem is in a terrible condition; the nation has become apostate and the leaders corrupted. Jeremiah is pointing out their many sins, but they refuse to acknowledge them. God raises up Babylon and draws it to Jerusalem as a judgment on Israel.
God is bringing against us today a Spiritual Babylon in the same way that he brought a physical Babylon against the Jerusalem of Jeremiah`s time. A sorceress, a Jezebel spirit that induces to covetousness, a harlot that seduces us to love the world and all that is in the world. This Babylon, Mother of Harlots takes captive the many, breaking down the walls of Jerusalem and destroying the Temple. The church is laid waste by the Babylonians, the Chaldeans, the sorcerers. This Spiritual Babylon comes in the form of false teaching, false prophecy and false miracles. Would God do that?
Did God put lying words in the mouth of Micaiah`s opponents? Yes, and he is doing it again. This judgment of God is self-induced by those who do not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. They harden their hearts to the truth and choose to listen to doctrines that pamper their self-esteem and greediness. God has sent a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false.
We must allow this movement to take its course so that those who count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime may forsake the right way and follow the way of Balaam. Balaam was a prophet who knew the Lord but chose rather to be enticed by his own lust.
In closing let us read the words of the prophet Jude, the brother of Jesus.
Jud 1:17 (Scriptures) But you, beloved ones, remember the words spoken before by the emissaries of our Master יהושע Messiah,
Jud 1:18 because they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own wicked lusts.
Jud 1:19 These are the ones who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.
Jud 1:20 But you, beloved ones, building yourselves up on your most set-apart belief, praying in the Set-apart Spirit,
Jud 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of Elohim, looking for the compassion of our Master יהושע Messiah unto everlasting life.
Jud 1:22 And show compassion toward some who are doubting,
Jud 1:23 but others save with fear, snatching them out of the fire, hating, even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Jud 1:24 And to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His esteem with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25 to the only wise Elohim, our Saviour, be esteem and greatness and might and authority, both now and forever. Amĕn.