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Heavenly Visions

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    ACTIONS OF THE TRUE AND THE FALSE PROPHETS COMPARED

    J. N. LOUGHBOROUGH.

    WHEN considering the character of the Lord’s prophets in ancient times, the trait of faithfulness in reproving sins, even when surrounded with a vastly superior number of false prophets, is particularly noticeable. Their testimony is not withheld from those high in authority; even kings were not exempt from reproof, as is seen in the case of Elijah before Ahab.HEVI 40.1

    Because of Israel’s departure from the true worship of God, the Lord brought famine upon the land. In response to Elijah’s petition, rain from the space of three years and six months had been withheld. Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab.” “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” 1 Kings 18:1, 2, 17, 18.HEVI 40.2

    Here we see that this true prophet was regarded as the one who had brought this trouble on the kingdom. Because he sought to correct the flagrant transgressions of Israel, and to arouse within them a sense of their sinfulness, they called him the troubler of Israel. In this account is seen the faithfulness of the prophet in reproving sins-in telling even that king his wrongs, although for so doing the king might order him to be slain.HEVI 40.3

    Again: in the twenty-first chapter, when through the conniving of Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, Naboth had been slain, and Ahab had gone down to take possession of his vineyard, “The word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.” 1 Kings 21:17-20. Here we see the king regarded the prophet of God as his enemy, when in truth he was his best friend. Elijah was only seeking the king’s good by kindly, yet faithfully, and at the risk of his own life, pointing out his errors.HEVI 40.4

    In like manner those reproved through the Lord’s testimony given by Sister White have sometimes regarded her as their enemy because she plainly told them of their faults and dangers. In the words of a careful observer of her Testimonies from the first, we read, “In the matter of plain and faithful dealing, without fear or favor, I desire to bear witness that there has been no lack. If base and evil motives were the controlling power in this work, flattering words would fill the place of searching testimonies and faithful reproofs. Plainness of speech, faithful reproofs for wrong, words of compassion and encouragement for the trembling souls who feel their needs of the Saviour, and for the erring who seek in humility to put away their faults,-these are the things that have entered largely into her labors. The Testimony of Sister White, reproving wrongs in the case of many persons whom she had seen in vision has been borne with great faithfulness, and with the most excellent effect.”HEVI 40.5

    A striking instance of the course of the true and the false prophets is recorded in the twenty-second chapter of 1 Kings. Ahab, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, were about to engage in a warfare against the king of Syria. In response to the king of Judah’s request that they inquire of the Lord, Ahab had four hundred false prophets brought in. Their testimony was full of flattery, boasting as if the victory were already gained. In response to Jehoshaphat’s inquiry whether there was another prophet, Ahab said, “There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”HEVI 40.6

    When Micaiah came in, he faithfully, yet kindly, told the king the fate of himself and his army, although knowing well he subjected his own life to the wrath of the king, and indeed the king gave immediate command to an officer concerning him: “Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me. And he said, Harken, O people, every one of you.” 1 Kings 22:27, 28.HEVI 40.7

    Often has the writer heard Sister White advise persons as to what they would do, and they would protest that they never would do it. She would say, “If you do it not, the Lord has not spoken by me.” Notwithstanding their protest, they did do, at last, the thing they had solemnly declared they would never do.HEVI 41.1

    “GOD so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This gracious promise is not yea and nay; but if we comply with the conditions, it is, in Christ, “Yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” The love that God has manifested to us through his Son is the love he would have us manifest to others. A. L. HOLLENBECK. The Review and Herald, October 17, 1899.HEVI 41.2

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