------ Forwarded message ------
From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper - Message for 6/1/2018
There are two things we as Christians need to do. We need to hear the Lord and we need to do what he says. The ancient Israelites relied upon Moses to hear the Lord. “And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us. . .” (Exodus 20:19). “. . . and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do” (Exodus 24:3). On many occasions the children of Israel failed to keep their promise and they suffered.
The Lord wants to communicate with each of us. God introduced his Son on several occasions using these words: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.” (Matthew 3:46 IV; 3:17 KJV; Matthew 17:4 IV; 17:5 KJV; 3 Nephi 5:8; History of the Church, Vol. 1 p 9). Jesus said his sheep would hear his voice and would follow him; “. . . for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5).
Jesus warned: “And, again, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits . . .” (Matthew 7:24-25 IV; 7:15-16 KJV). Paul said, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Such people are easy prey for false prophets.
How can we identify “the wolves in sheep’s clothing?” False prophets are often very gifted but they do not bear the fruit of Christ. They use flattery. They speak of things people want to hear. They do not reprove or rebuke. They do not call for repentance. They call poverty the world’s greatest problem, when mankind’s greatest problem is sin! They speak of globalism, unity in diversity, tolerance, multiculturalism. They call “good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20).
The true prophets preach and “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2). They also encourage, comfort and edify people. They are humble and full of love. They are not entertainers nor do they cater to the flesh. The image of Jesus can be seen in their countenances (Alma 3:28). They are faithful in adversity. They are fearless. They fear only that they might not please God. They teach only as they are led by the Spirit (Doctrine and Covenant 42:5-b). They speak the “words of truth and soberness” (Acts 26:25).
A 90 year old woman from Valdres, Norway, had a vision from God in 1968; fifty years ago. She was alert, reliable and a credible Christian who had a good reputation among all who knew her. She prophesied, “a final war would begin in an unexpected place. A wide-spread luke-warmness would be seen in Christianity. Entertainment, art and culture would invade the churches. The churches would become nearly empty before the coming of Jesus. People will live together without marriage. Television would be filled with violence. The most indecent sex scenes will be shown.
“People from poor countries will stream to Europe and also to Scandinavia. War will come. It will be a short war ending with a nuclear bomb. Only a remnant will remain. Then suddenly Jesus will come. The one who has his sins forgiven, and knows Jesus as his Savior and Lord will be safe.” Tears streamed from the old woman’s eyes as she affirmed she had received this vision from God.
We need to be “constantly in touch with God and tuned to hear his slightest whisper” (Hymns of the Restoration #322). We need to remember: “Whosoever will not hearken unto my words . . . I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:19).
My love to All,
Prophets; True and False
Moses, who lived about fifteen hundred years before the birth of the Christ-Child, prophesied of Jesus, being raised up as a Prophet like Moses: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee (Israel) a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren (an Israelite), like unto thee (Moses); unto him shall ye hearken; . . . And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my (God’s) words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, . . . even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously . . . (Deuteronomy 18:15-22).
Time vindicates the prophet. Moses was certainly vindicated as a prophet of God by the coming of Jesus, who was “like unto” Moses in so many ways: Both were Israelites who came out of Egypt. Both were spared from death decreed by wicked kings. Both were lawgivers and refused kingdoms of this world. Both were called a prince and appeared as angels of light. The list of their similarities is almost without end.
Time eventually unveils the false prophets also, but by the time the truth is known it may be too late to overcome the results of believing their lies! Jeremiah wrote of false prophets: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you; . . . they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord . . . I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, . . . and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23: 16, 31-32).
The true prophets of God have often been abused, mistreated, imprisoned and slain, for telling the truth. Jesus said, “. . . behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and of them ye shall kill and crucify; and of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city” (Matthew 23:31 IV; 23:34 KJV).
Isaiah could have been writing to many in our day when he wrote: “. . . this is a rebellious people, lying children, . . . which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits; . . . cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (Isaiah 30:9-11). These are they who “love not the truth” (Romans 1:18, 2 Thessalonians 2:10).
The truth spoken by the prophets of God has rarely been popular with the majority. Jeremiah was cast into prison and was asked by Zedekiah, King of Judah, “Wherefore (why) dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon. . . ?” (Jeremiah 32:3-5). Later, after he was beaten, “. . . they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire; so Jeremiah sunk in the mire” (Jeremiah 38:6).
Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Joseph Smith Jr., and many others have been vindicated as true prophets of God. Jesus said: “. . . O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:24 IV; 24:25 KJV).