In the previous two articles in this series we discussed openly the prophetic context of (Ezek.14) and how it might apply to the prophetic movement operating today in the church. Ezekiel revealed something very shocking in this passage, that it was “according to the idols in the people’s hearts” that God was answering them, even by the prophets. Today we will finish this series on this subject. I pray it is a blessing to you.
THE ANOINTING COMES WITH GOD’S ANSWERS
“And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering.”
This is one of the things we have to remember when God answers us. He often answers with fire. What do I mean by this? I mean that when we cry out to God and he answers us, even when He’s answering according to our idols, we often “feel the fire” (Lk.24:32). This is one explanation as to why prophets and the people receiving the prophetic words can oftentimes feel the fire burning in their hearts when these words are spoken, even though they can be coming from a lying spirit.
(1 Kings 22:19-23)
19 “Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left.
20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.
21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’
22 The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’
23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.â€
“11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,”
God anoints words of delusion as well as words of truth, for his glory. God anoints, which is to say he puts the fire on words which are lies as well as words which are honest, for his glory and his purposes. I know because the bible tells me so. If your picture of God doesn’t include this possibility, then maybe you have the wrong picture of who God really is. Maybe your image of God needs to be torn down with the rest of the idols that are falling in our day!
Why would God clearly answer with anointed assurance from the voice of the prophets, even a collective voice that was in such unison, that Donald Trump would serve a second consecutive term as President of the United States? Because we made Donald Trump into an idol in our hearts, asking God to do through this man what God reserves to only be done through the man Christ Jesus. The Lord will share his glory with no one.
No politician, no businessman, no genius can save America. The problems America faces which have numbered our days, according to the principles of Scripture, are beyond the ability to legislate out of. They are beyond our ability to use business acumen or brilliant intellect to get out of. God must intervene. We must see repentance across the land, with sweeping revival, otherwise we will stay stuck on our current course until we meet the fate of every world power which has come before us that made the same mistakes. Donald Trump was never going to change this.
ESTRANGED FROM GOD BECAUSE OF THE IDOLS OF OUR HEARTS
“That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.”
The Hebrew word for “estranged” here is “zur’”. It means “to become a stranger” (1). The same word is used in (Lev.10) when Aaron’s sons, the priests, offered “strange” (zur) fire to the Lord and lost their lives for it.
1 “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.â€
The fire was strange, most likely because it was taken from the wrong place. God commanded that the fire be taken from the altar (Lev.16:12). Similarly, the hearts of the Israelites at the time of Ezekiel were ablaze with prophecy, prayer, and appeals to the throne of God, but where did this fire come from? I surmise that it too was “strange” fire since the fruit of it was their “estrangement” from God. What an incredible scripture, wouldn’t you say? You can be absolutely lit with prophetic revelation and be a complete stranger to God. You can be crying out to him day and night, praying and fasting like crazy, have God answer you by fire, and yet not know God. Sound familiar?
(Matt.7:15; 21-23) KJV
15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.â€
I believe Jesus’ words here to be in harmony with what the Holy Spirit gave to Ezekiel six hundred years before. Clearly there is some “power”, some “fire” moving among these false prophets that Jesus was talking about, evident through the manifestation of the spirit in prophecy and casting out demons in the name of the Lord. But it’s a strange prophetic fire, just like in the days of Ezekiel, and no matter how hot it burns it does not draw them any closer to the Lord. For all their fire and displays of power they are strangers to God. What a tragedy.
6 “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:
8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.â€
I love this phrase always coming up in Ezekiel’s part in the holy scriptures: “and ye shall know that I am the Lord”. Every time Ezekiel says this in his book it applies to a variety of circumstances. It can be the Lord blessing his people, “that they may know that He is the Lord their God”. Or it can be applied when God is judging the people, “that they might know that He is God”. As I’ve stated in previous writings, this is a declaration of the glory of God. All things were created by and for him (Col.1:16). In this case, God is getting the glory from elders and prophets receiving strange fire to prophesy with, only to have God answer them with fire in their state of estrangement, to reveal the sin of their idolatry in order to call them to repentance, so that we might know that He is God.
The solution for today’s prophets and leaders is not elusive. It’s not impossible to grasp and understand. It’s very simple, just as it always has been. In almost every situation in the kingdom, getting back on course usually just requires humility and repentance. It’s so simple a child could understand, but will we do it? That’s the question. Will we humble ourselves and remove this stumbling block, which is the same one the Israelites faced, idols of the heart (Ezek.14:7). Or will we go on in our stiff-necked rebellion continuing to build our faith on the sinking sand of delusional prophecy rather than the Rock that is Christ and his Word?
IF A PROPHET BE DECEIVED
“And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.”
Once again I wish to say yes, that’s correct, you read that right. If the prophet is deceived the Lord has deceived that prophet, especially when it applies to this kind of situation involving God answering the people according to their idols. If that doesn’t compute let me state it in another way: if a prophet is deceived then God is going to get the glory out of it one way or another. He will truly work all things according to the counsel of his own will (Eph.1:11) despite our stubbornness and rebellion. That's the miracle of God. When Satan resisted he played right into God’s plan. When the prophets give themselves over to deception they play right into God’s plan.
But the important thing to recognize here, with such a striking scriptural statement, is that God uses all things as the ingredients in life to fulfill his ultimate purposes and plans, and that includes the deception in the prophetic movement. God wanted the children of Israel to know in Ezekiel’s day that He did answer them when they called, even by the mouths of the prophets, but God deceived the prophets because both the prophets and the people had idols in their hearts. They were asking God for things according to those idols, and we have done the same thing in the prophetic movement today! Prophets have been deceived. God answered them by fire when they called upon him, and like Kim Clement famously said, “God has fooled the people”.
10 “And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God.â€
Notice how the prophet, when presenting the solution in (verses 6-8) starts with repentance, but ends with, “that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord.” It reminds me of Peter’s words to Simon the Sorcerer. These words should put your mind at ease if you’re doubting the validity of Ezekiel’s words having application for believers living under the new covenant.
““Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.”
Peter talked about the Lord “perhaps” forgiving Simon. He said the Lord “may” forgive him. In other words it wasn’t a sure thing. The Lord who tests the heart and knows the heart determines if the fruit is worthy of repentance (Matt.3:8). Not all gestures of repentance qualify as fruits worthy of repentance.
God said the same thing to Israel in the time of Ezekiel. If they repented of their heart idols, turned from them, and removed the stumbling block of iniquity from their midst, then they “may” be the Lord’s people, and the Lord “may” be their God. In other words it wasn’t a sure thing. Getting to know the Lord again where He no longer called them strangers offering strange prophetic fire to him meant true repentance. It meant bringing to the Lord fruits worthy of repentance. I believe the Lord would say the same thing to the prophetic movement today:
“Many of you have been estranged in your hearts from me because of the idols which have found a place of worship in your hearts.
Only repent now with all your hearts, and in all your turning turn to me, that I may be your God and you may be my people, and I may move across your nation like I never have before, says the Lordâ€.
In his Service,
*** To receive free teaching & prophecy by Stephen Powell & other anointed authors sent regularly to your inbox, subscribe to our free Newsletter by clicking: http://tinyurl.com/LLM-Subscribe
*** To donate
Checks made out to “Lion of Light Ministries”
PO Box 912 | Maricopa, AZ 85139