and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|June 14, 2011||
Volume 10 Number 12
The Man of God
A faithful messenger delivers the word that was given to him. He does not embellish nor diminish it, despite his personal feelings concerning what it says. A heavenly messenger of God is called an angel, whereas an earthly messenger is called a prophet. Because Yahweh is a loving and merciful God, He uses His messengers to warn us and to give us an opportunity to repent before He takes actions that correct us or that judge us for our sins:
7 Surely the Lord Yahweh will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets. -Amos 3
So it was with the "man of God" that came to deliver the message to Jeroboam, the King of Israel:
1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of Yahweh to Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
2 And he cried against the altar in the word of Yahweh, and said, O altar, altar, thus says Yahweh; Behold, a child shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon you shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon you, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon you. -1 Kings 13
While the kingdom over which Jeroboam reigned was called "Israel," it was not the united Kingdom of Israel over which three kings, Saul, David, and Solomon, had previously reigned. Like all of us, each of these three kings was a sinner. However, it was only David that submitted to the Word of Yahweh and humbly repented for his sins:
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. -Psalms 51
Because Saul rejected the word of Yahweh, the kingdom was taken from him, according to Samuel’s prophecy:
26 And Samuel said to Saul, I will not return with you: for you have rejected the word of Yahweh, and Yahweh has rejected you from being king over Israel.
27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it tore.
28 And Samuel said to him, Yahweh has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, that is better than you. -1 Samuel 15
Likewise, after he had gained great fame and riches, Solomon also rejected Yahweh’s commandments by worshipping other gods and goddesses. Therefore, Yahweh kept the word that He spoke to Solomon. Upon his death, Yahweh took all but a remnant of the kingdom from Solomon’s family and gave it to his servant:
9 And Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from Yahweh God of Israel, which had appeared to him twice,
10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which Yahweh commanded.
11 Therefore Yahweh said to Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. -1 Kings 11
Solomon’s servant was Jeroboam. He became the king of the ten tribes comprising what was called "Israel." However, Jeroboam also rebelled against the word of Yahweh. He created his own religion by installing images of golden calves as gods, appointing his own priests, which were not Levites, and even creating his own holy feast days:
28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
31 And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. -1 Kings 12
Faithful to His word, Yahweh sent the "man of God" to warn Jeroboam before He brought judgment upon Israel. After Yahweh confirmed His word with a sign, Jeroboam invited the "man of God" to his home for refreshment and a reward:
7 And the king said to the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward. -1 Kings 13
However, obeying the "word of Yahweh," the "man of God" refused. Yahweh had given him clear instructions. He was to eat no bread, drink no water, nor return home the same way he came:
8 And the man of God said to the king, If you will give me half your house, I will not go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:
9 For so was it charged me by the word of Yahweh, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that you came.
10 So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel. -1 Kings 13
Therefore, the "man of God," declined the king’s hospitality and also took a different way home.
After an "old prophet" from Bethel learned of the work of the "man of God," he followed him. Upon finding him, the "old prophet" told the "man of God," "I am a prophet also as you are." He said that an angel had given him another word from Yahweh, one which was different from that which the "man of God" had first received. It was, however, a lie!
18 He said to him, I am a prophet also as you are; and an angel spoke to me by the word of Yahweh, saying, Bring him back with you into your house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied to him. -1 Kings 13
The "man of God" listened to the words of the "old prophet." Believing that this new word from a respected prophet superseded the original word which he had received from Yahweh, the "man of God" disobeyed the word of Yahweh:
19 So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. -1 Kings 13
In the midst of the disobedience by the "man of God," the "old prophet" then prophesied concerning him:
20 And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of Yahweh came to the prophet that brought him back:
21 And he cried to the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh, Forasmuch as you have disobeyed the mouth of Yahweh, and have not kept the commandment which Yahweh your God commanded you,
22 But came back, and have eaten bread and drank water in the place, of the which Yahweh did say to you, Eat no bread, and drink no water; your carcass shall not come to the sepulcher of your fathers. -1 Kings 13
Consequently, a lion killed the "man of God" while he was on his way home:
23 And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the donkey, that is, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
24 And when he had gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the donkey stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass. -1 Kings 13
Instead of confirming the word of Yahweh for himself, the "man of God" perhaps began to question the word that he had first received. Therefore, he yielded to the teachings of the "old prophet," even believing his lie. His deception led him to his death
Yahweh has spoken His word to us through the Scriptures. However, Pauls says that there are some that "would pervert the gospel of the Messiah." He warns that, even if such teachings of "another gospel" come from himself or even from an angel, we must not believe them:
6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of the Messiah unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of the Messiah.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed. -Galatians 1
It is tempting to accept teachings that cannot be found in the Word of God because they come from someone that seems to have greater authority, because of their credentials, fame, or position. Paul reminds us that just as "God accepts no man’s person," neither did he:
4 And that because of false brethren secretly brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in the Messiah Yahshua, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 But of these who seemed to be something, (whatever they were, it makes no matter to me: God accepts no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be something in conference added nothing to me: -Galatians 2
Might we also allow ourselves to believe a lie by rejecting Yahweh’s word, merely because it is delivered by a highly respected person, such as an "old prophet"? The "man of God" did!
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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