Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

Back

LESSON 10 - PROPHETS OF PEACE

INTRODUCTION: OPEN YOUR BIBLES TO JER 27. LETS TURN THE CLOCK BACK
A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN THE COLD WAR WAS STILL HOT. LET ME READ TO YOU
JER 27:6-9 IN THE CAMERON MODERN APPLICATION EDITION:

     NOW I WILL HAND THE UNITED STATES OVER TO MY SERVANT
     MICHAEL GORBECHAV, PREMIER OF THE SOVIET UNION; I WILL
     MAKE EVEN THE WILD ANIMALS SUBJECT TO HIM.  ALL NATIONS
     WILL SERVE HIM AND HIS SON AND HIS GRANDSON UNTIL THE
     TIME FOR HIS LAND COMES; THEN MANY NATIONS AND GREAT
     KINGS WILL SUBJUGATE HIM.  IF, HOWEVER, ANY NATION OR
     KINGDOM WILL NOT SERVE GORBECHAV, PREMIER OF THE SOVIET
     UNION, OR BOW ITS NECK UNDER HIS YOKE, I WILL PUNISH THAT
     NATION WITH THE SWORD, FAMINE AND PLAGUE, DECLARES THE
     LORD, UNTIL I DESTROY IT BY HIS HAND. SO DO NOT LISTEN TO
     YOUR PROPHETS, YOUR DIVINERS, YOUR INTERPRETERS OF
     DREAMS, YOUR MEDIUMS OR YOUR SOCERERS WHO TELL YOU, "YOU
     WILL NOT SERVE THE PREMIER OF THE SOVIET UNION."

     WHAT IF  WE HAD TWO PROPHETS IN OUR CHURCH: 

          --ONE WHO SAID THAT WE WERE ALL SINNERS AND THAT WE
          SHOULD JUST SUBMIT TO GORBY AND THE USSR. 

          --ANOTHER THAT SAID WE HAD ALWAYS BEEN A CHRISTIAN
          NATION, THAT WE HAD SOME PROBLEMS, BUT NOT TOO BAD, AND
          THAT THE LORD WOULD BE WITH US AS HE ALWAYS HAD AND WE
          WOULD DEFEAT THE USSR.

          -- WHICH WOULD YOU BELIEVE?

          --IS THERE ANY POSSIBILITY YOU WOULD BELIEVE THAT THE
          USSR WAS GOING TO SUBJUGATE US AND THAT WAS GOD'S WILL?

          --WHAT ARGUMENTS AGAINST THAT?

          --WOULD IT BE "OK" TO BELIEVE ANYTHING AS LONG AS YOU
          WERE SINCERE?

          -- THAT WAS JER PROBLEM: THAT WE DISCUSS TODAY.
[put in the story about you wanting to get a message to your kids
at school about the defect in the car, and a teacher falsely tells
them he has a message from us that the car is fine.]
I. HANANIAH

     A. FOLLOWING JER PROPHECY, HANANIAH GAVE A PROPHECY. LETS READ
     IT IN READ JER 28:1-4. SOUND GOOD?  I WILL BREAK THE YOKE OF
     THE USSR!
          1. IS THIS OBVIOUSLY WRONG? WRONG ON THE FACE OF IT?

     B. HOW WOULD YOU KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE?
     
     C. ZEDEKIAH WAS THE KING WHO LISTENED TO THESE TWO VIEWS. HE
     DECIDED TO ACCEPT HANANIAH'S MESSAGE (OR SOMEONE WITH A
     SIMILAR MESSAGE.)
     
     D. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WHAT A BAD ACTOR HITLER WAS. DO YOU
     KNOW WHAT WAS THE RESULT OF ZEDEKIAH FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF
     PEOPLE LIKE HANANIAH? (IN 2 KINGS 25;3-7 WE FIND THAT NEB
     KILLED HIS TWO SONS BEFORE HIS EYES AND THEN BLINDED HIM. SO
     THE LAST THING HE SAW WAS HIS SONS BEING KILLED.)

          1. PRETTY SERIOUS RESULT OF FOLLOWING THE WRONG ADVICE.

     E. LETS CONTINUE: READ JER 28:5-9. DID JER CALL HIM A LIAR? A
     FALSE PROPHET? WHY DO YOU THINK HE SAID WHAT HE DID? (HE, TOO,
     WOULD LIKE GOOD THINGS TO HAPPEN, BUT GOD HAD TOLD HIM
     DIFFERENTLY.)

II. TEST OF A TRUE PROPHET

          1. WHAT DOES v.9 SUGGEST TO US ON TELLING WHO IS THE TRUE
          AND WHO THE FALSE PROPHET? (v.9 SAYS THE PREDICTION COMES
          TRUE.)
          
          2. HOW CAN THAT DO US ANY GOOD? IF WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL
          IT HAPPENS TO KNOW WHO HAS GIVEN THE TRUE PROPHECY? DO
          YOU WANT TO WAIT UNTIL YOUR EYES GET POKED OUT?

     A. LETS TURN TO JER 23:16-18. 
          1. DOES THIS SUGGEST ANOTHER TEST TO TELL A TRUE FROM A
          FALSE PROPHET? (YES, "STAND IN THE COUNCIL OF THE LORD.")
                    
     B. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER SOMEONE STANDS IN THE COUNCIL OF
     THE LORD? 
          1.HAN'S NAME MEANS, "YAHWEH HAS BEEN GRACIOUS." SOUNDS
          LIKE HE MIGHT BE IN THE COUNCIL OF THE LORD, RIGHT?
          (COMMUNICATING WITH THE LORD)
     
          2. IS IT EASIER FOR US TO TELL THIS NOW? (YES. THEN THE
          PEOPLE WERE MORE DEPENDENT UPON PROPHETS. NOW WE HAVE THE
          BIBLE. STANDING IN THE COUNCIL OF THE LORD IS HAVING
          ADVICE THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE BIBLE.)

     C. IN JER 23:8 JER SAYS THAT THE TRUE PROPHETS THAT PRECEDED
     HIM PROPHESIED DISASTER. DOES THE FACT THAT THE FALSE PROPHETS
     WERE PROPHECYING PEACE AND JER WAS PROPHECYING DISASTER
     PROVIDE ANOTHER TEST OF A PROPHET? 
     
          1. OUR LESSON QUOTES LUKE 2:14. SOMEBODY READ THAT (KJV
          AND NIV)
          
          2. LAST NIGHT I WAS READING AN ARTICLE IN CT ABOUT THIS
          VERY TEXT. WITHOUT GOING INTO ALL THE GORY DETAILS,
          ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH THE KJV IS THAT IT IS NOT BASED UPON
          THE EARLIEST GREEK MANUSCRIPTS (AND THAT IS ALSO A
          PROBLEM WITH THE NKJV). THE EARLIEST AND MOST ACCURATE
          GREEK MANUSCRIPTS (AND THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THEM THAT
          HAVE BEEN FOUND) SAY AS THE NIV SUGGESTS, "PEACE TO MEN
          ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS" NOT EVERYBODY.
          
               a. SO IF A PROPHET IS PROPHESYING PEACE FOR PEOPLE
               WHO ARE NOT OBEYING, THAT SHOULD BE A BIG RED
               WARNING FLAG. EGW IN P&K p.435 SAYS,"GOD'S PLAN IS
               NOT TO SEND MESSENGERS WHO WILL PLEASE AND FLATTER
               SINNERS; HE DELIEVERS NO MESSAGE OF PEACE TO LULL
               THE UNSANCTIFIED INTO CARNAL SECURITY. INSTEAD, HE
               LAYS HEAVY BURDENS UPON THE CONSCIENCE OF THE
               WRONGDOINER AND PIERCES HIS SOUL WITH SHARP ARROWS
               OF CONVICTION."

     D. SO WE HAVE THESE THREE TESTS FOR A FALSE PROPHET: 
          1. WHETHER THEIR PREDICTION COMES TRUE;
          2. WHETHER THEY STAND IN THE COUNCIL OF THE LORD (AGREE
          WITH THE SCRIPTURE.)
          3. AND WHETHER THE MESSAGE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE 
          AUDIENCE (PEACE TO SINNERS WOULD BE A GIVE AWAY.)

     E. IS THIS A PROBLEM WE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT TODAY?

     F. THE LESSON AND THE TEACHER'S HELPS WARN OF FALSE PROPHETS
     IN THE LAST DAYS. (TUES) I DON'T KNOW OF ANY PROPHETS TODAY,
     MUCH LESS FALSE ONES. 
          1. WHAT IS THE LESSON TALKING ABOUT?
          
          2. DO WE HAVE FALSE PROPHETS TODAY? 
          
          3. WHAT ABOUT SOMEONE WHO MISQUOTES THE BIBLE (OR MORE
          DIFFICULT TO TRACE) EGW? (I THINK THIS IS A FALSE PROPHET
          BECAUSE THE PERSON CLAIMS THAT IT COMES FROM GOD.)
          
          4. WHAT ABOUT READING SOME IDEA IN A MAGAZINE AND THEN
          SUGGESTING THAT THIS IS GOD'S WILL?
          
          5. IN REV 3:17 IT SAYS ABOUT LADOCIA THAT IT IS RICH, 
          WEALTHY AND NEEDS NOTHING: AND GOD SAYS THAT WE ARE
          WRETCHED, PITIFUL, POOR, BLIND AND NAKED.  DOESN'T THIS
          REFLECT THE IDEA THAT WE LISTEN TO FALSE PROPHETS, EVEN
          IF THEY ARE OURSELVES? (SEE MT 24:24 FALSE PROPHETS IN
          THE LAST DAYS.)

     G. DO YOU THINK THAT WE ARE JUST "ON OUR OWN" IN FIGURING OUT
     WHO IS A FALSE PROPHET? OR DO YOU THINK THAT GOD MIGHT
     INTERVENE TO HELP?

          1. READ JER 28:15-17.

          2. I WAS READING MATTHEW HENRY'S COMMENTARY AND HE SAYS
"THE NEARER [WICKEDNESS] IS TO [THE LORD] THE MORE OFFENSIVE IT
IS."

III. NEXT WEEK: DIVINE PROMISES. STUDY!


[ON THE ISSUE OF FALSE PREDICTIONS: "ONE HUNDRED AND ONE QUESTIONS
ON THE SANCTUARY AND ON ELLEN WHITE" BY ROBERT OLSON, ELLEN G.
WHITE ESTATE PUBLISHED MARCH, 1981. PAGE 58 DISCUSSES A MEETING AND
VISION IN 1848 IN EXETER MAINE IN WHICH ELLEN WHITE SETTLED A
DISPUTE AMONG THE PEOPLE (BASED ON THIS VISION) THAT THE DOOR TO
SALVATION WAS SHUT.]