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True and false prophets

There are a lot of people who claim to be prophets who speak for God.  The Bible warns us that many of them are not true prophets and we are not to listen to them.  But how can you tell who really is a prophet and who isn’t?  The Bible answers this question.

And if you say in your heart, “How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?”— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.  (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

God sent Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh.

Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” (Jonah 3:4)

This is how the Ninevites responded.

And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. (Jonah 3:5-10)

Jonah said Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days and it didn’t happen.  Does this mean that Jonah was a false prophet? Read the rest of this entry

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Paul and Jonah

Acts 27:1-28:16 describes Paul’s voyage to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.  It was late in the year, when sailing on the Mediterranean was dangerous.  At one point they had to decide whether to continue to Rome or spend the winter where they were and finish their voyage the following spring.

Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”
Acts 27:9-10

They rejected Paul’s advice and continued their journey.

But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.
Acts 27:11-12

A storm rose and the crew of the ship gave up all hope of survival. Read the rest of this entry

Stay where God puts you

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.
Luke 8:16

The kind of lamp Jesus spoke of provided light by burning oil.  A lamp placed under a jar would be extinguished for lack of oxygen.  A lamp placed under a bed could set the bed on fire.

Read the rest of this entry

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