Four Hundred Prophets Can’t be Wrong! (Right?)

August 8, 2007

Ecclesiastes 8:5  “Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise mans heart discerneth both time and judgment.”

In this age, when sensationalism, entertainment, and soothing messages seem to be dominant factors in the church, there’s a real need for discernment on the part of every saint.  A need to be in close to the Lord and have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  To know if a particular thing is real or just a show.  To be sensitive to the Holy Spirit at all times as he will guide us into all truth and will let us know when something is amiss.  To have the word of God hidden in our hearts as the workings of the Lord will always line up with scripture and the name of Jesus Christ will always be glorified.  (I John 4:1-3 is SO important!  It cannot be stressed enough)  In the days to come, such discernment will be imperative on a level that none of us can presently grasp.  Without a doubt, the time to have our senses exercised is now, before things get dicey. 

One of the most incredible biblical accounts concerning this comes from I Kings chapter 22.  Jehoshaphat, king of Judah had come down to Ahab, the king of Israel.  Ahab, a king who had done more to provoke the LORD than any of his predecessors desired to take Ramoth in Gilead from the Syrians. 

I Kings 22:5  “And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD today.”

Jehoshaphat wasn’t one to march into a situation before consulting the Holy One of Israel.  Therefore, Ahab honors this request and gathers together about four hundred prophets.  When we think of a prophet, certain attributes come to mind.  A person who spends a lot of time in prayer and is close to the Lord.  One who is familiar with scripture and is of much understanding.  A person whom the Lord has selected to reveal truth through.  A person who lives a life of holiness and one not to be taken lightly.  (And if they should happen to be lacking on top, NEVER say “Go up thou bald head.”)  So if four hundred of these prophets were in one accord, saying “go and prosper” one would be inclined to go and expect to prosper.  Yet for Jehoshaphat, something was “wrong.” 

I Kings 22:7  “And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?” 

Ahab must have been astonished at this request.  “I brought you four hundred prophets, what more do you want?  How much convincing do you need?”  Without a doubt, the prophets words and various demonstrations must have made an assault on Ramoth-Gilead seem like a no-brainer.  Yet despite the chorous of “Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king,”  Jehoshaphat remained unconvinced.  While “majority rule” may be a notable principal for a democratic government, it’s a terrible and dangerous way to discern spiritual matters.  At this point, Ahab reveals his slanted selection process. 

I Kings 22:8  “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, 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.  And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.”

There’s a lot of truths demonstrated in this passage of scripture.  Ahab sought out those who would prophesy according to his will instead of those who would reveal truth to him.  This is a problem in the year 2007 AD, just as it was then.  Folks seeking those who proclaim smooth things that will make them feel good about themselves while neglecting to preach against sin.  In the case of Ahab, he not only disregards Micaiah, he “hates” him because of his adherance to truth.  Nonetheless, he sends an officer to fetch Micaiah because he really wants Jehoshaphat to join him in the campaign to take Ramoth in Gilead.  The following passage shows just how much pressure was on Macaiah to “conform.”

I Kings 22:13  “And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.”

In other words “Go with the flow.” Don’t rock the boat.” “Don’t be a hero.”  Without a doubt, Micaiah is well known as one who goes against conventional wisdom, as is the case with all who love the Lord Jesus and seek to please him.  As Jehoshaphat and Ahab inquire of Micaiah, he remains faithful to that which the Lord has revealed to him.  The sideshow of prophets proclaiming error doesn’t distract him.  In fact, the Lord grants him insight as to the mechanics of this situation. 

I Kings 22:19  “And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.”

I have to pause here for a second.  This must have been an incredible sight.  When we grasp just how awesome our God is, we’ll not be turned aside by those who would urge us to just “Follow the herd.”  Our hope will be in the Lord Jesus and we’ll not be fearful of those who can chase us to the grave but no further. 

I Kings 22:20-23  “And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead?  And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.  And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.  And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?  And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.  And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth and do so.  Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.”

A strong delusion, designed to bring to nought Ahab who has done more to provoke the Lord than all of his predicessors.  Even when the whole truth is told to Ahab, he continues in his way.  The next verse is interesting.

I Kings 22:24  “But Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?”

Back in verse 11, we find Zedekiah had performed a demonstration with horns of iron, telling Ahab “with these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou hast consumed them.”  In other words, he put on a show and now Micaiah was exposing it as being such.   As has been the case in every generation, when one is really close to the Lord, the greatest opposition will come from those within the ranks of the “religious” so to speak.  It was true throughtout the old testament.  It was true when Jesus walked the earth in a body of flesh.  It holds true today as well.  It’s imperative that we follow the Lord Jesus.  That we we open to truth as the Holy Spirit gives understanding. 

Over the years, I’ve been in a lot of churches.  There seems to be a tendancy for folks to conform to each other instead of being atuned to what the Spirit is saying unto the churches.  The account of Micaiah is an admonition to seek the Lord first and formost.  In prayer, I often ask that if I’m in error somewhere, please show me.”  We are sinners, saved by the grace of God and washed in the blood of Jesus.  We must die daily to the old man and strive to be more Christlike.  It’s a lifelong process for us all; to be more like Jesus and less like us. 

WOW!  It’s been a long time since I blogged most of a night away.  It’s been fun and I’m not even remotely tired, however, I should be going for now.  In pondering the times that we find ourselves in, the need for discernment on the part of the saints is imperative.  To be grounded in truth and love the Lord Jesus with all of our being.  To be firmly established in the faith as everything is shaken that can be shaken.  Until next time, I wish a blessed day in Jesus to all. 



  1. Hi Timbob!!! I have certainly missed your posts! It seemed that all the “good” bloggers broke away at the same time to spend more time with the LORD, which forced me to do the same! 🙂

    These are great insights to this passage. I have never looked at the “lying prophets” as part of the established religion at that time, but, indeed they were! And I suppose all who would insist on their ears being tickled will be sent into battle grossly unprepared. I do not want to be one of them! And, as Susan says, there does seem to be a stirring going on in the heavenlies, or a shaking, as you have mentioned.

    When our finances hit bottom, or our bridges collapse, or we are buried in a pit of coal, or the flood waters cover us up, may we remember our Redeemer lives! He is able!! He will accomplish His plan – and He will use us to do it – if we are willing to go forth in His Name alone!

    “Oh taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Oh fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. ‘Come, you children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.'”

  2. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
    For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.

    Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

    For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

    Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.
    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

    Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”.

  3. Hi Timbob,

    Your post took me back to my Bible college days. My husband’s class(which was a year behind mine)did a drama one year called The Counsel of the Ungodly, which gave examples in the Bible and in history of the disastrous results that follow when people follow the counsel of the ungodly. One of the scenes they did was a reenactment of the story you mentioned in I Kings 22.

    I definitely agree that “majority rules” is a dangerous way to determine things spiritually. We must seek the will of the Lord and reject the things that contradict or do not line up with His Word.(even if they are promoted by those who have a form of religion – 2Tim. 3:5) Indeed, it is good to pray to the Lord that He show us if we are in error. I believe He will honor that kind of prayer.

    Thanks for a great post.


  4. Greetings Timbob!
    May we each seek the Lord diligently, to know Him and love Him with all of our heart that we will not be deceived in the coming days!
    How we need discernment! How we need to hear the truth of Gods holy and eternal Word proclaimed, yes more than proclaimed but see it lived out faithfully by His grace, in our daily lives!
    All for the honor and glory of our precious Lord Jesus.

    Every blessing to you, grace and peace! Glad to see you post again. 🙂


  5. Hi, Timbob, I haven’t been by for awhile…I have been having a break from visiting blogs..Blessings to you..

  6. Great post, Timbob.

    I ask the following questions only half-rhetorically…

    How do we know if we’re just one of the herd?
    What if the herd is “correct”?
    How do we discern the “false prophesies/prophets”?
    How do we know if “we” are false prophets?
    Can we rely on another human being to help us discern?

    Granted, some of this is obvious, but in other cases may not be so apparent.

    I know the answers are found in scripture and prayer, but what if we and the herds believe in their hearts they ARE following scripture?

    Just some food for thought as these are questions I’ve had in the past and I know others have asked as well.

    Interested in your thoughts.


  7. hi timbob. sorry i’ve been gone. thanks for your message.

    god is such a great god. i fancy him quite a bit. hope everything is going well for you and your family.

  8. Excellent lesson!

  9. Hey Timbob! Where’s your post for August 22nd? 🙂

    I hope everything is OK with you. I haven’t seen your name popping up anywhere and assume you are extra busy.

    I am looking forward to your next post whenever you get the time to enter it!

    May the LORD bless you abundantly Timbob!

  10. Hello, Timbob. I believe as humans we are prone to segregate into like groups…and as you point out…to become like each other. There also is great appeal in large numbers. Sometimes God is in that–sometimes otherwise. We definitely need His direction and discernment for our lives.

    Thank you.

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