Ed Grubb Aug 21, 2010

The Characteristics of a True Prophet

Real vs Counterfeit and Prophet Defined

A certain jewelry store sold man-made stones as though they were priceless, natural gems. This was happening for years and scores of men & women bought what they thought were precious stones. No one questioned the authenticity until someone with trained eyes pointed out they were man-made. How were people deceived? The counterfeit looked remarkably like the real. The difference was not noticeable unless you had a trained eye. First you have to establish the criteria for the authentic: look at a real stone under a magnifying glass. Then will you be trained concerning what to look for in the counterfeit.

Who was the first known prophet in the Bible?

1. Adam

Genesis 2:23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."

2. Enoch

Jude 1:14-15 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

3. Abraham

Genesis 20:7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet.”

Abraham did not foretell future events and yet God said he was a prophet.
The Hebrew word for prophet is nabi used more than 300 times in the OT. A general overview is given in:
Exodus 7:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.

This is right after Moses says he has no ability to speak clearly and insists he cannot speak before 
Pharaoh as God’s spokesman — Ex 4:10 – 16. God was displeased but he still appointed Aaron as
Moses’ representative.

Exodus 4:10-16 10 Moses said to the LORD, O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.
15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.

16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.

Moses had the message and Aaron was his voice. God said Aaron would be a prophet or spokesman for Moses therefore.

A prophet is one who speaks for another, or someone who lends his voice to another.

The major purpose of these servants prophets was to declare God’s heart to His people by piercing the hearts of his people that they might return to His ways.

Let's dig into the characteristics of a true prophet, starting on the next page.

The Characteristics of a True Prophet

1. Worshipper

Definition: veneration (honor, esteem, worship), glorification (elevate, enhance, dignify, hail, exalt).

Judges 5:1-5 The Song of Deborah

1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2 “When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves– praise the LORD
3 “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel.
4 “O LORD, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water.
5 The mountains quaked before the LORD, the One of Sinai, before the LORD, the God of Israel.

Daniel 2:19-23 …Then Daniel praised the God of heaven
20 and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

2. Intercessor

Definition: A mediator; one who interposes between parties at variance, with a view to reconcile them; one who pleads in behalf of another.

1 Kings 13:6 Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.

1 Samuel 12:19-25 The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”
20 “Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.

21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.
23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
25 Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

Amos 7:1-6 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming up.
2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
3 So the LORD relented. “This will not happen,” the LORD said.
4 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land.
5 Then I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
6 So the LORD relented. “This will not happen either,” the Sovereign LORD said.

3. Meekness - as in all the characteristics, Jesus is our perfect example

Definition: humble & submissive, piously gentle in nature
.

Gentleness: mild or kind –  in temperament, moderate, kindly, tender, thoughtful, gracious, compassionate
.

Humility: humbleness, meekness, modesty, self-effacement (retiring, modest, timid), shyness.

Philippians 2:1-18

Imitating Christ’s Humility

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Numbers 12:3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

4. Knows the word of God, therefore knows God

Definition - Knows: have in the mind, have learned, be able to recall (knows what to do), be aware of

1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 And He said to him,” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

5. Forgiving: Numbers 12:13 — “Moses cried out to the Lord, O God please heal her!”

Definition - Forgive: cease to feel angry or resentful, pardon, overlook, clear, acquit, absolve, acquittal, allowance
.

Numbers 12:1-13 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.
2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.
3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you.’ So the three of them came out.
5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward,
6 he said, “Listen to my words: “When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.
10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy;
11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed.
12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”
13 So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, please heal her!”

6. Filled with the Holy Spirit

Definition- Filled: occupy completely, spread over or through, pervade, take over.

John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

John 14:16-17 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you
know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

7. Fearless — he/she fears God and not man

Definition - Courageous: brave, bold, intrepid (fearless, very brave, unafraid, undaunted), daring, audacious (daring, bold, confident).

2 Kings 3:14-15 Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you or even notice you.
15 But now bring me a harpist.” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha

Jeremiah 1:17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or will terrify you before them.

8. Trusts God

Definition - Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, or strength of a person or thing, confident expectation.

Habakkuk 3:17 19 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the
fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

9. Pure Heart

Definition - Pure: uncontaminated, clear, unalloyed (unmixed, unblended, unadulterated, uncorrupted, clear, purified).

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Psalm 12:6 And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

10. Integrity

Definition - Integrity: moral uprightness, honesty, wholeness, soundness, decency, honor, totality (whole, entirety (completeness, sum total))

2 Kings 5:26-27 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants?
27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s Presence and he was leprous as white as snow.

Daniel 6:3-5 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has Something to do with the law of his God.”

11. Exercise discretion and strong discernment

Definition - 
Discretion: freedom to act and think as one wishes usually within legal limits, tact, diplomacy, delicacy
.

Discernment: good judgment or insight, perceive clearly with the mind or the senses
.

Acts 16:17-18 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the Spirit, “In the name of Jesus Chirst I command you to come out of her!” At moment the spirit left her.

12. Words are few — only speaks the word of God. Usually prophets are loners, seldom socialize. They are completely set apart for God

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

13. Have no agenda but God’s agenda

Definition - Agenda: a list of things to be dealt with or especially an underlying motivation.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will make your paths straight.

Luke 10:27 He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Matthew 6:31-34 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Romans 14:17-18 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

14. Obedient

Definition: submissive, dutiful (following the law), compliant, respectful.

Ezekiel 24:15-18 The word of the Lord came to me:
16 “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.
17 Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover the lower part of your face or eat the customary food of mourners.”
18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.

Jeremiah 16:1-4 Then the word of the Lord came to me:
2 “You must not marry and have sons or daughters in this place.”
3 For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who ar their mothers and the men who are their fathers:
4 “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like refuse lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of th air and the beasts of the earth:”

15. They are good listeners

Definitions - Good: having the right or desired qualities
.

Listeners: make an effort to hear, take notice of; heed
.

1 Sam 3:10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak for your servant is listening.”

16. They have wisdom

Definitions - Wisdom: The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them.

Prudence is the exercise of sound judgment in avoiding evils; wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good. Prudence then is a species, of which wisdom is the genus, discernment, reason, insight, common sense.

Acts 7:22 and Moses was taught in all wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in words and in works. [Yet do not rely on worldly wisdom, but rather rely on God as Moses, the meekest man on earth, did.]

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Gen 41:37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.
38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”

17. Prophets are fearless and strong in resolve

Definitions - Fearless: courageous, brave, bold, intrepid, daring, audacious
.

Strong: solid, sturdy, substantial, stout, tough, sound, well-built, reinforced
.

Resolve: make up one’s mind, decide firmly, firm mental decision or intention

1 John 4:13-21

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

John 15:1-17 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

Joshua 1:13-18 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land.’
14 Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan but all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers.
15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.
18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”

Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

18. Prophets fight for others but they do not defend themselves. They let God defend them instead

Definitions - Fight: contend or struggle, strive determinedly to achieve something, to overcome.

Defend: resist an attack on, protect, support or uphold, shield, champion
.

Jeremiah 15:20-21 I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel.”

19. Prophets have a kingly mindset, great boldness, strong, and a  completely confident focus on the Lord Jesus and His word. They only let God change the instructions.

Some people might say, “You have a big head.” As a prophet, it’s true! Christ Jesus is your Head! He is going to say fantastic things through you; God is faithful. They will surely happen if you obey Him. Some might also say, “You’ve lost your mind…” They are right! You have lost your own mind and now have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:15-16

15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16"For who has known the mind of the Lord

that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Ephesians 4:14-16 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

2 Corinthians 11:3

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Philippians 4:6-8

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

1 Peter 1:13-16

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

We have a perfect example and warning to never change the instructions from the Lord until He changes them Himself; consider the young prophet from Judah who was killed for it. (next page)->

I Kings 13

11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree

The man of God was found at a point of idleness, sitting down, possibly hungry and thirsty, perhaps even losing focus, letting his mind wander away from passionately following the instructions of the Lord. The motive of our strong resolve must be because of sold-out love for God, and His love through us for others. We must continue moving in love, never sitting idle to be self-indulgent.

…and asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?"

"I am," he replied.

15 So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me and eat."

16 The man of God said, "I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the LORD : 'You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.' "

18 The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD : 'Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.' " (But he was lying to him.)

The man of God did not test the spirit of what he heard (1 John 4). He let his mind loose to consider something outside of the word of the Lord. He took his focus off of God, seeking someone else as the source of instruction, and seeking something else as the source of fulfillment and satisfaction (food, drink, comfort).

19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.

20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: 'You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.' "

23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.

1 John 4

On Denying the Incarnation [and testing the spirits]

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.