Proving the Prophets

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Proving the Prophets
Lesson #22
Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, wanted to recapture the town of Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. But he needed help, so he asked good King Jehoshaphat of Judah to join his campaign against their common enemy. Jehoshaphat said he was willing to join forces with Ahab, but that they should first seek God's counsel. Ahab had forsaken the Lord years earlier to worship the pagan god Baal, so he called in 400 hired prophets to come before the two monarchs. With dramatic display, these false prophets said, "Go and fight the Syrians, and you will be victorious!" But King Jehoshaphat requested to hear from a true prophet of the Lord. Ahab said that there was one prophet of Jehovah left whose name was Micaiah, but he added, "I hate him for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." Verse 8. At Jehoshaphat's insistence, Ahab reluctantly sent a servant to fetch Micaiah. The brave prophet came and made a very unpopular prediction. He told Ahab that he would die in the battle with Syria. Now Ahab faced a tough decision. Should he believe 400 prophets who say nice things, or one lone prophet of the Lord? Stubborn King Ahab persuaded Jehoshaphat to disregard the warnings of the prophet Micaiah and join him in the war. He thought he could outsmart the Lord by dressing in full armor and avoiding the front lines of battle. But Ahab learned too late that you can never escape the Word of God. During the battle, a stray arrow flying through the air struck Ahab in the joints of his armor, and he bled to death in his chariot. Jesus warned that there will be many false prophets in the last days (Matthew 24:11). That is why we must know how to distinguish the true from the counterfeit. It may be a matter of life or death!
1. To whom does the Lord reveal His final plans?

1. To whom does the Lord reveal His final plans?

Amos 3:7. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the _______.


Answer :  ____________________

2. Will there be both true and false prophets in the last days?

2. Will there be both true and false prophets in the last days?

Matthew 24:11. And many _______ prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   Yes, there will be both true and false prophets in the end time. The Scriptures also teach that prophets can be either men or women.

3. What types of false prophets are specifically condemned in the Bible?

3. What types of false prophets are specifically condemned in the Bible?

Deuteronomy 18:10. "One ... that useth ________ [fortune teller]." Deuteronomy 18:10.

"An observer of times [astrologer]." Deuteronomy 18:10.

"An enchanter [magician]." Deuteronomy 18:10.

"A witch [female psychic]." Deuteronomy 18:10.

"A charmer [person who casts spells or charms]." Deuteronomy 18:11.

"A consulter with familiar spirits [spirit medium]." Deuteronomy 18:11.

"A wizard [male psychic]." Deuteronomy 18:11.

"A necromancer [person who claims to consult with the dead]." Deuteronomy 18:11.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   Deuteronomy 18:9-12 says that all who do these things are an "abomination" to the Lord. For this reason, Christians should have nothing to do with them.

4. Will God's end-time church have the gift of prophecy?

4. Will God's end-time church have the gift of prophecy?

Revelation 12:17. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the ______________ of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:10 I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   As we learned in Lesson 17, God's end-time remnant church has "the testimony of Jesus," which is "the spirit of prophecy." By comparing Revelation 19:10 and 22:9, we see that the angel defines John's "brethren" that have the spirit of prophecy as "the prophets" and "them which keep the sayings of this book." In 1 Corinthians 1:5-8, Paul writes that the church will have "the testimony of Christ" and will "come behind in no gift" until Jesus' second coming. So God's last-day church will indeed still have the gift of prophecy.

5. In what ways does God speak to a true prophet?

5. In what ways does God speak to a true prophet?

Numbers 12:6, 8. If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a _______, and will speak unto him in a dream. ... With him will I speak mouth to mouth.

Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   The Lord speaks to His prophets by visions, in dreams, face to face, and through angels. Crystal balls, palm readings, tea leaf deciphering, star gazing, and claiming to talk with the dead are not God's methods of communicating with a prophet.

6. Are miracles definite evidence of a true prophet?

6. Are miracles definite evidence of a true prophet?

Revelation 16:14. For they are the spirits of _______, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   No, miracles are not proof that someone is a true prophet. They prove only one thing--supernatural power. But supernatural power may come either from God or from Satan. That is why the Lord tells us: "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1.

7. What is the most important test of a prophet?

7. What is the most important test of a prophet?

Isaiah 8:20. To the ______ and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   The "law and the testimony" was an Old Testament expression for "Bible." In other words, a message from someone who claims to have a prophetic utterance from God must be compared with the Bible. We must test the prophet by the Bible, and not the Bible by the prophet. Any true prophet of God will always agree 100 percent with Scripture. This is the true test.

8. What is the second test of a prophet?

8. What is the second test of a prophet?

1 John 4:2. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that _______ Christ is come in the flesh is of God.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   A prophet of God must acknowledge and teach the truth about Jesus Christ--that He was God in human form. True prophets must also exalt Jesus, not themselves. Most false prophets seek to draw attention away from God's Word and to their own ideas.

9. What is the third test of a prophet?

9. What is the third test of a prophet?

Matthew 7:16. Ye shall know them by their _________.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   This does not mean that the prophet will be perfect. God's prophets have always had faults. However, there must be consistency between what true prophets teach and the lives they live.

10. What is the fourth test of a prophet?

10. What is the fourth test of a prophet?

Jeremiah 28:9. When the word of the prophet shall come to _____, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   A true prophet will not make false predictions. If a prophet is of God, the things he or she says will come to pass. However, accuracy alone does not automatically qualify a person as a true prophet. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 warns that false prophets can give signs that will come to pass and then use their influence to lead people to follow other gods. A true prophet must lead people to worship God according to the Bible.

11. What three things does Paul command regarding prophecy?

11. What three things does Paul command regarding prophecy?

1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21. Despise not prophesyings. _______ all things; hold fast that which is good.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   Paul says that we are not to despise, or reject, the gift of prophecy. Rather, we must test a prophet's messages by Scripture and follow what is good and true.

12. Whose counsel do we reject when we reject the words of a true prophet?

12. Whose counsel do we reject when we reject the words of a true prophet?

Luke 7:28-30. There is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: ... And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God. ... But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of ___ against themselves.


Answer :  ____________________

NOTE:   When we reject the words of a true prophet, we reject the counsel of God. A solemn thought! The Bible tells us to listen to God's prophets and promises that all who follow the counsel of a true prophet will prosper.

2 Chronicles 20:20 Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

13. Since God still speaks through prophets, and since a true prophet's words are the personal

13. Since God still speaks through prophets, and since a true prophet's words are the personal "testimony of Jesus" to you, are you willing to test modern prophets by the Bible and follow the counsel of those who agree with Scripture?



Answer :  ____________________


Supplemental Study

Modern-Day Prophet
In December of 1844, a group of young Methodist ladies were kneeling in prayer in Portland, Maine, when Ellen Harmona 17-year-old girl in frail health received her first vision. As Ellen (who became Ellen White after her marriage to a young minister named James White) related what God had revealed to her, she continued to receive visions and dreams for about 70 years until her death in 1915.

As was true for the biblical prophets, certain supernatural physical phenomena accompanied Ellen White during her visions. Like the prophet Daniel, she did not breathe while in vision and often initially lost physical strength (Daniel 10:8, 17). Some of her visions lasted as long as four hours, but she did not breathe the entire time. Doctors who examined her while she was in vision attested to this fact.

At other times, she was also given supernatural strength (Daniel 10:18, 19). Though Ellen weighed only 95 pounds, witnesses saw her hold a 17-pound family Bible in her outstretched hand for 30 minutes while in vision. These and other physical phenomena indicate that there is something supernatural about the experience of a prophet. However, they do not tell us whether the prophet is from God or from Satan. When faced with a supernatural claim to the prophetic gift, Christians must test the claim by the Bible to see if it is true.

Applying the Four Biblical Tests
Let's look together to see whether or not the life and ministry of Ellen White meet the four biblical tests of a true prophet.

First Test - Harmony with Scriptures
Read any one of Ellen White's books, and you will discover that it consistently leads you to the Bible and is in total agreement with Scripture. However, she did not regard her writings as an addition to Scripture. Their purpose was to call the attention of God's people to the Bible and bring them back to the Bible as the only source of truth. Notice Ellen White's emphatic declaration that the Bible is the only rule of faith: "In our time there is a wide departure from their doctrines and precepts, and there is need of a return to the great Protestant principle - the Bible, and the Bible only, as the rule of faith and duty."1

She also wrote: "The written testimonies are not to give new light, but to impress vividly upon the heart the truths of inspiration already revealed. Man's duty to God and to his fellow man has been distinctly specified in God's word yet but few of you are obedient to the light given. Additional truth is not brought out but God has through the Testimonies simplified the great truths already given and in His own chosen way brought them before the people to awaken and impress the mind with them, that all may be left without excuse."2

Although Ellen White emphatically stressed that her writings were never to be considered part of the Bible, they are nonetheless inspired. Many of God's greatest prophets such as Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist were inspired, yet they did not write any books of the Bible. Ellen White's writings may be described as a lesser light to lead to the greater light, the Bible. They act as an inspired commentary on Scripture, but the Bible is still the supreme authority.

Second Test - Teach the Truth About Jesus
Ellen White's bookssuch as The Desire of Ages, Christ's Object Lessons, Steps to Christ, and Thoughts from the Mount of Blessingall testify to her fulfillment of this test. She says nothing of herself in these volumes, but constantly points others to Jesus.

Third Test - A Godly Life
The press, commenting on the death of Ellen White, said: "The life of Mrs. White is an example worthy of emulation by all. ... She was a humble, devout disciple of Christ, and ever went about doing good. ... She was honored and respected by all who appreciate noble womanhood consecrated to unselfish labor for the uplifting and betterment of mankind. Her death marks the calling of another noted leader of religious thought and one whose almost ninety years were full to overflowing with good deeds, kind words, and earnest prayers for all mankind."3

Fourth Test - Accurate Prophecies
The few prophecies of the future made by Ellen White can be easily validated. The following prediction reads like this morning's newspaper, but was written before most modern means of travel were invented. "Disasters by rail will become more and more frequent confusion, collision, and death without a moment's warning will occur on the great lines of travel."4

Ellen White lived during a time when doctors advocated smoking to benefit the lungs. Varying medical opinions existed, but no real scientific proof was available. Nutrition was an unknown science. Yet in this setting, Ellen White wrote volumes in the field of health and nutrition. Dr. Clive McCay, former professor of nutrition at Cornell University, confirmed the accuracy of Ellen White's writings in the field of nutrition: "In spite of the fact that the works of Mrs. White were written long before the advent of modern scientific nutrition, no better overall guide is available today."5

The Bible predicted that in the last days the prophetic gift would appear. Evidence declares that Ellen White met every Bible specification for a true prophet. We would encourage you to obtain and read some of her writings and follow the biblical injunction to "despise not prophesyings. Prove all things hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:20, 21.

1The Great Controversy (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1950), p. 204, 205.

2 Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1949), Vol. 2, p. 605.

3 Star (St. Helena, California), July 23, 1915.

4 Messages to Young People (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1930), p. 90 (reprinted from article in The Signs of the Times, April 21, 1890).

5 Clive M. McCay, "A Nutritional Authority Discusses Mrs. E.G. White," Review and Herald, February 26, 1959, p. 10.

  Prophets and Kings CD Audio Set by Ellen W...
Prophets and Kings CD Audio Set by Ellen W...

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