O’ Prophets, Where Art Thou?
By J.L. Robb
Thou art on television.
In the world of religious cable and satellite TV, most any late-night or early-morning programming has prophets coming out of the woodwork. There is even a Prophet channel, www.prophet.tv where there are numerous places to donate money. Some of the prophets on television need donations to buy new Gulfstream business jets to go to-and-fro faster, for the people of course.
This is unusual because there were none of the original Jewish prophets, the ones who actually spoke as God, who wanted to be a prophet. It was an assignment directly from God, and the assignment was difficult and life-threatening. God was the source, not their own creativity.
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from Godq as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 20:21 NIV
When you examine the lives of the major prophets and the way many died, why would anyone want to be a prophet? But there are plenty who want to be, on TV. Ch-ching, ch-ching the cash register sings.
There are four major prophets and 12 minor prophets. Each of the prophets have their own book in the Bible. Major and minor refers to the length of the books and has nothing to do with the actual prophet.
Isaiah was the most major with the longest book, sixty-six chapters. Though his manner of death is not described in the Bible, Jewish teaching says he was cut in two by a wood saw, at the orders of King Manesseh.
Jeremiah told the people of Judah what they did not want to hear, condemning their lifestyle in the eyes of God. The Judahites stoned him to death, and the Egyptians claimed his body. The Egyptians loved Jeremiah because he prayed, and the river monsters in the Nile stopped devouring the people, probably crocodiles.
Ezekiel suffered a similar fate for criticizing the chief of the Jews and his ways.
Daniel, from the tribe of Judah, had an unusual face and most thought he was a eunuch because he “kept himself from women.” Daniel, though the only of the major prophets to die peacefully but had quite a life according to the lion’s den story.
The prophets communicated directly with God through actual words and through visions and dreams.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.” Exodus 7:1 NIV
The minor prophets did not fare much better than the major prophets.
Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are the minor prophets and are covered in twelve books.
Jonah openly resisted his call to prophesy, because he knew what would happen. He would tell the leaders of Nineveh (Iraq) to stop worshiping their idols, stop their corruption, stop their sexual aberrations or God would wipe them out; and they would wipe him out. He tried to escape in a boat to Tarshish, and the crew threw him overboard. A giant fish swallowed him and puked him up on shore, so he finally cried “uncle” and gave in.
Jonah was raised close to what is now known as the Gaza Strip, though it has always been a strip. Jonah prophesied to the Ninevites but did not know they actually had listened and were changing their ways. When they changed and God did not have to offer discipline to the population, there were many Jews who wanted to kill Jonah. Since the travesty did not occur, they thought he was a false prophet.
As bad for your health as being a prophet seemed to be and as little money as they made, only a satellite TV prophet would want the lifestyle. While the real prophets did not advertise who they were, the TV prophets shout it to the entire world. They get rich on the backs of the poor, never fearing death; and many buy their lies.
Since The End Series came out and six of the seven books are complete, it has been seven years as of May 11. In those seven years I have received hundreds of emails and three proclaimed me a prophet. They thought I was a prophet because a few things seemed to loosely fall into place. I quickly wrote each back explaining that God had not spoken to me nor had any angels implied this to me, that I was only a news junky and loved anything about the end times.
Why are so many looking for prophets? Jesus said to beware of false prophets because they would be abundant in the last days, dressed in sheep’s clothing and acting nice, traveling around on fancy private jets, luxury-bus caravans and limousines.
Jesus did not travel around in a chariot but has managed to get his prophecies and good news to the entire world. Jesus did not wear three-piece business suits or gold cufflinks.
What have these false prophets predicted that has come true? Is their batting average a thousand like the real prophets? What or who is their source?
God spoke directly to Moses and Abraham.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.” – Exodus 7:1 NIV
Daniel had visions and dreams and the gift of interpreting dreams. If you listen to some of the late-night TV prophets, they have all of the above plus they heal people through the TV. God knows who they are.
“Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” Isaiah 46:8-10 NIV
False prophets and teachers are everywhere, more abundant than in history is my guess. Just turn on satellite TV. You will know them by their fruits.