[anzac] THE FALSE PROPHET - by Art Katz

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2016 21:26:09 +1200
The FALSE PROPHET
by Art Katz

In Jeremiah chapter 23, God gives us a powerful statement about
true and false prophets. Talk about an indictment! It is one thing
to have an indictment against Israel, but when you begin to indict
the prophets of Israel, when the loftiest and the best and the
noblest thing has become the most profane, then that must be
a symbol or a statement of the low condition of a nation prior to
its judgment.

There is a conjunction between prophet and priest:
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own
authority; and My people love it so!" (Jer.5:31a).

It is remarkable how self-serving this reciprocal thing is between
heads of movements or fellowships and the false prophets, and
how comfortable they are with one another and how they affirm
one another. The people are in an unspoken agreement with their
ministers: "You present a biblical message. We will pay the bill
and have a Sunday service that will leave our lives free from any
kind of demand that would really touch our true vested interest
and value. We don't want a message that is going to challenge
where our heart really is. We want to be able to say, 'Amen' and
'We've been to church'"-and that kind of thing. As the priest, so
also the people. As the pastor/preacher, so also the congregation.
Into that situation we have to come prophetically - and likely be stoned!

'"Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, they will
be driven away into the gloom and fall in it; for I shall bring calamity
upon them, the year of their punishment," declares the LORD' (v. 12).

It implies that there is not an immediate judgment, but that there
is an appointed time in which God judges those that profane His
house-those who originally had authentic and holy callings. That
may well be why the Lord is allowing to continue that which is
presently being called prophetic and is so popular, but for them,
as with the priests and prophets of old, there will be a year of
visitation or a time when God calls a halt.

There is a consequence for false prophecy. It will affect the entire
nation and therefore the entire church by the same principle.

"' Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Do not listen to the words of
the prophets who are prophesying to you...'" (vs. 15-16a).

Notice that God still calls them prophets. It is maybe because
the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. They still retain their
official title, but what they are performing under that title is in God's
sight an abomination. There is nothing more profane than when
the sacred is no longer authentically sacred. When we take the
sacred phrase, 'Thus says the Lord' and merely employ it as a
device to win the attention of our hearers, then we are desecrating
the sacred. We are making the sacred profane and once we have
done that, what else can be hoped for? If we are not as a priestly
people setting forth the distinction between the profane and the
sacred, what can be hoped for in the world? The ramifications of
what we are talking about are beyond any full grasp.

"They keep saying to those who despise Me, 'The LORD has
said, 'You will have peace'; and as for everyone who walks in the
stubbornness of his own heart, they say, 'Calamity will not come
upon you.'" (v.16b-17).

This must be the very quintessence of what a false prophet is,
namely, the giving of a false comfort and a false assurance of
peace that does not regard the truth of the conditions that need
to be faced. It is an unwillingness to bring a hard word. The things
that are prophesied are normally flattering and encouraging to the
flesh, rather than challenging or threatening. False prophets have
historically prophesied peace when there is no peace. 'Calamity
will not come upon you' is unhappily the kind of prophetic statement
that is coming forth even today, especially in Israel. They are giving
a false comfort to those who are not even properly aligned to God.
Humanly speaking, we would not see these people as those who
despise God. God sees them, however, as despising Him and we
need to see it as He sees it. The false prophets are actually
bringing a kind of encouragement to those people who are already
out of right relationship with God and give them an assurance that
their relationship with God is in order.

"But who has stood in the council of the LORD...?"

Moses, who wrote the five books of Moses, could say of himself
that he was the humblest man on the face of the earth. That is
true humility, where we are devoid of any sense of spiritual self-
consciousness. We can merely state the fact of something without
any effect upon ourselves,because the humility is not a statement
to our honor. Humility is not something that man can work up by
himself on the earth and develop as a character trait. Humility is
what God is in Himself, and the only one who will display and
exhibit it, is that one who has been consistently in the presence
of God. It is humbling to be there and that is why Moses could
state it not as a credit to himself, but to God, out of whose
presence that humility was established. God requires still that
His prophetic men be in His presence.

I want to say that there is nothing more difficult for anyone than
this requirement. Everything contends against it-the dinner bell,
the faucet is dripping, the light bulb needs to be changed, the
dogs need to be fed - a thousand things continually nipping at
you that require attention. Even if that were not so, there is
something about the pulse of the flesh itself that is inimical and
opposed to seeking the Lord. Seeking the Lord is an extraordinarily
difficult thing and few have sufficeint incentive. It is a suffering,
and in fact, just to be more ruthlessly honest, it is a dying. Living
on the earth, in the flesh, in the world and in time, and to confide
and to commune with God, is an extraordinary and ultimate
attainment. If you attain it, then maintain it, because you do not
want to have to do it all over again. Can you maintain it and still
go to last night's birthday party, and dancing, and hooting, and
singing, and stomping and not lose it or be jarred from your
sensitive spiritual place by what seems to be just a time of fun?
We are talking about something very critical. I would not expect
in the earth today many men who are in this place. What then
shall we say for the whole rash of prophets that have arisen in
recent years for there are many men professing to be prophets,
but are we hearing the council of God? God's judgment about
the failure to obtain His word in that place is severe.

We can know when the word is out of the council of God because
it has this salutary effect. It will affect the nation or fellowship in
turning it toward God, rather than away from Him and from their
evil ways and their practices. I can remember a full gospel breakfast
where the speaker was from Sweden, a leading evangelical
personality, but it could have been anywhere. He was wearing a
Gucci shirt and tie and a silk-type suit, and he began by saying,
"The Lord has spoken to me this morning and given me a word for
you." I leaned forward to catch every syllable that had come from
the heart of God. As I heard it, however, there was nothing from
God at all, but clich├ęs, evangelical phrases and full gospel hogwash.
The men who were hearing that word that morning, and nodding
their heads, and "amening", applauding and affirming, need to
know that there are consequences when we allow that kind of
monumental lie to be expressed and not to be contradicted. It will
deaden and dull our sensitivity so that the next time we will be
an even greater candidate for deception for anything that comes
down the pike.

There needed to be someone in that audience that morning to
get up and say, "I am sorry for whatever pain and dislocation I
am going to cause, but I cannot allow that phrase and that
statement to be made in our hearing without being contested.
That was not the word of God and we dare not allow that kind
of terminology to be employed merely to sanctify or to give a
kind of credibility to what is otherwise just an ordinary statement."
How often is that being done and to what extent has our failure
to do so had a negative effect on the church today? We have
paid much for cheap, casual references to God, as if we could
invoke Him at pleasure or say, "God gave", when He did not give.

The same ones who will dismiss God rudely are the same ones
who will invoke Him lightly. Prophets are called to come into that
whole scenario, and bring the sword of the Lord, and bring the
fear of the Lord, and the truth of the Lord to people who have been
long spoiled by such cheapy things as I am now describing, and
as every one of us at one time or another, more than we would
like, have experienced. This is why we have anguished and God
is calling a halt.

That is why there are false prophets. That is why, if I can say it,
the Charismatic and kindred movements themselves are kind of
false movements, wanting the effulgence of the Spirit and the
excitement and the activity, but evading the cross and the
necessity for suffering out of which the Spirit of God is given as
solace, comfort and power. We come back again and again to
the cross. The false prophet speaks words of comfort when God
would not have His people to be comforted, but to be agitated.
True prophets can bear the reprisal, the rejection and the
mortification of that word coming back into their own teeth. They
can bear giving the word and then someone cueing the piano
player to drown it out.

Prophetic anguish is to bring the word of God and then to have it
refused and come right back into your teeth. It is mortifying and
the antithesis of the joy and the gratification that comes when
the word of God flows out of you, and through, and into the people
who are receiving it. That is like tonic for your soul. We have to
be as willing for the one as the other, or we will not speak the
other. The call to the prophet is the call to the cross. It is a
frequent, if not continual form of suffering of an exquisite and
ultimate kind. Can we say, "Thus says the Lord" without actually
articulating those words or implying those words in your statement,
except that your word has come through the cross? It is out of
a death. It is not your own word, but His, which can only come
from that cross-centered place. That was true for the prophets
before the advent of the  cross. Elijah preceded the cross, but
he knew the death of it when he said, "...there shall be neither
dew nor rain these years, except by my word." Jesus knew the
cross before He knew the cross. The cross only exemplified and
made visible the thing to which His life was all along submitted.

-From 'The Prophetic Call' by Art Katz.
-Source - http://www.benisrael.org/