1 Kings 13:1-32. New International Version (NIV)
1 By the word of the Lord a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering.
2 By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’”
3 That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”
4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.
5 Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the Lord .
6 Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the Lord your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the Lord , and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.
7 The king said to the man of God, “Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.”
8 But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here.
9 For I was commanded by the word of the Lord : ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’”
10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king.
12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken.
13 So he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it
14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
“I am,” he replied.
15 So the prophet said to him, “Come home with me and eat.”
16 The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.
17 I have been told by the word of the Lord : ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’”
18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord : ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.)
19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back.
21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you.
22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”
23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.
24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.
25 Some people who passed by saw the body lying there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, “It is the man of God who defied the word of the Lord . The Lord has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the Lord had warned him.”
27 The prophet said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me,” and they did so.
28 Then he went out and found the body lying on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey.
29 So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him.
30 Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, “Alas, my brother!”
31 After burying him, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
32 For the message he declared by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true.”
When I studied this passage recently,I discovered some outstanding things I will love to share to us especially ministers of the gospel both young and old.
This passage of scripture ushers us into the story of a young prophet from Judah who God sent to the yonder northern 10tribes of israel to predict with signs and wonders. God used him mightily. His prophecy was accurate,backed up with instant result. The king tried to arrest him but God dealt with the king instantly. The prophet gave a sign to back up his prophecy which was confirmed.
This prophet also was genuine because he clearly rejected every gift or food given to him from the king. But there were a few things that transpired that led to the premature death of this amazing prophet.
1. He was deceived by a so-called older prophet who was suppose to guide him but misled him, lied to him and also prophesied his death.
2. The older prophet not only deceived him but brought him back to a city God told him to leave and offered him food which God warned him against. This prophet was simply not only a liar but a jealous one who wanted to associate with the trend of fame and glory that was associated with the young prophet.
3. He received a pure revelation of the death of the young prophet after early given a false prophecy. Not every prophet or preacher who you think is used of God is actually God’s approved. They may be agents sent to pull you down, make you remain in their level and probably cause you to disobey God and turn around to rend you to pieces. Be careful of those who claim to hear God yet tell you to cut down on your prayers and fasting. A particular Archbishop at one time called me up and told me man of God stop your fastings stop it,do not fast again. He tried to talk me down severally I appreciated his advised but if I had listened totally to him,I would have been a dead man why because God specifically told me Son seek me in prayers and fasting. I relaxed after that advise but it exposed me to a deadly attack and because I had disobeyed the Holy Ghost,the covering over me was over. That season,I spat blood for some days until I asked God for mercy. I recovered and God explained to me that He told me to seek him because there was a launch of attack against me and my family and He wanted me to seek him in prayers. Few days later,the Lord revealed to me the true colour of that Archbishop in a vision. I got to a gutter to urinate,it was dark,I saw a dark thing move and because I was sensitive,I moved away from there only to discover that a crocodile was hiding there any attempt I would have been meat for it. I quickly withdrew and began to scream calling for help and letting people know that there was danger in there. I woke up,sat and God spoke son, be careful of who tells you what to do. Anyone no matter how anointed he is,If he/she tells you to do whatever I do not instruct you to do,if you do it,you expose yourself. Many do not want you to go higher. They hear from God but are not happy with the power at work in you so they try to shut you up. I always try as much as possible to avoid involving myself in people’s personal revelation from God.
4. That old prophet said after the death of the young prophet please bury me where he is buried. Who buried the young prophet? The old one. He was suppose to cross over to judah but died in a land he cursed buried by same rival prophet. Hmmm,not every prophet who claims he/she is your brother/ sister that actually love you.
5. The old prophet told his sons,what he says will surely come to pass. Then I ask why did he have to deceive him? Why did he have to return him back? Why did he lie?
Listen, not every prophet hears all time. There are times you will be by yourself and not hear a word from God. He is not an author of confusion. He will always confirm His word by two or three witnesses but when it comes to specific assignments there are people who will try to talk you down,tell you God says this when He never said that. Please,do not make yourself an enemy of the Holy Ghost. As an older preacher prayerfully guide your mentee in truth. I see most preachers speak ill about other preachers just to discredit them before others who are attracted by their ministry or try to send hired assassins or set them up. Their primary purpose is to close their ministry or ensure that their church membership doesn’t outgrow theirs.
May God help us. Shalom!