Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets/Rejecting true prophets/Desire as an Obstacle

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Desire as an obstacle

Those who reject true prophets based on rival desires argue on these kinds of bases:

  • Distaste for the prophet's words or person, or both: For example, in 1 Kings 22:8 reports of a king who said, “There is yet one man, Micaiah... by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”
  • Unwillingness to sacrifice in order to follow: Recall the “certain ruler” who asked Jesus, “What lack I yet?” He was very sorrowful in hearing an answer that called for him to give up something he desired (see Luke 18:18-25). In other cases the sacrifice can be social position, sexual or other behavior, or political power.
  • Rival desires and allegiances, whether political or personal -- “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him, and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:47-48)
  • Unconventional behavior by the prophet, “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners” (Matthew 11:19) or “This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day” (John 9:16)
  • Objectional behavior by their disciples, where the failures to meet an ideal replace the actual tests for a prophet. (Romans 2:21-24)
  • Economic issues -- “And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas...saying these men being Jews do exceedingly trouble our city.” (Acts 16:19-22) or the story of the silversmiths opposed to Paul in (Acts 19:24-29).