The prophets of Baal feasted at the table of Jezebel. It does not say whether they were actually in her service, but rather that they were feasting at her table. One could easily see in what compromising position this would place them in seeing that one does not bite the hand that feeds you. One can only imagine what such a feast looked like! Voluptuous fruit and new wine, sumptuous and beautiful to all the senses and extremely inviting. The laughter, the dance and the euphoria of friendship. Who would not want to sit at a table as this? A feast not only where you can have your fill, but a feast to lose yourself in, a binge. The kind flesh revel in.
In contrast to this we find Elijah in the wilderness in solitude eating bread and water. No one to share his food with, no one to laugh or be merry with. We see this same Spirit that resided in Elijah in John the Baptist. Alone once again in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey. Wearing clothes that would most definitely not win him any brownie points and a strangeness about him that made him not one of the boys. These strange and peculiar people, called of God, is in stark contrast to those prophets who feast at Jezebel’s table. We as children of God are exhorted in 1 Corinthians 14 to seek for the gift of prophecy. The lines of the office of the Prophet and the gift of prophecy are often blurred. We have not been properly taught the difference and therefore often throw both into the same category.
What constitute someone to become a Prophet of God? What are the dealings of God with such a one to become His ears, eyes and mouth? How much of his life is spent in preparation to walk in integrity as the oracle of God. And when he speaks, how does one know whether that which is said is truly of God? Does it not stand to reason that just as many will be deceived by a false Christ, will also be deceived by the false prophets? Could it be that the two seem very similar? The Anti-Christ will do great miracles. He will heal people and probably also call fire down. Even if possible, the elite will be deceived the Word says. We know that he will speak great things against our Lord and Savior, but it is guaranteed that he will not do it in the beginning. No, just like the false prophets of our day, he might sound doctrinally correct and very spiritual. He might even know the Word as well as the back of his hand. How are we to know between the truth and the lie when the lie sounds and looks like the truth? I am not talking about outright deception that often tickles the ear. I am talking about the lie coated in truth. Is that not what the snake in the garden did? He is a master at deceiving. The contrast between the Prophets of Baal and Elijah’s has not changed. They may even look the same in appearance, but their preparation and disposition is vastly different.
The true prophets of old were persecuted and stoned. Isaiah was sawn in half and so also the other suffered terrible deaths. Our Prophet and King often found himself in solitude with His Father going out into the wilderness to receive His food for the day. Jesus only started His ministry at 30 years of age. We are not told what the preparation was that He had to go through, but what we do know is that when He came on the scene, he went to John the Baptist. Like John the Baptist and Elijah, and so many others before Him, He was misunderstood, rejected and persecuted. The true prophet stands alone before the Lord. He answers to only One. Not in exclusivity, but in submission and humility. For unless there is an identification with the lost and even the sin, there can be no intercession or authenticity. In this solitude he receives his bread and water. Not the written bread, but the living bread. This bread broken and torn, and in his heart echoes the living words of his Lord, “One shall not live from bread alone, but from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God", said Jesus. The prophet lives from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. There in this solitude, the still small voice of God is his life and nourishment. He knows Him because he feasted with Him. So that when he is told to leave the cave of solitude, he speaks with identification and authenticity with the One who gave him the authority so that he can say “thus sayeth the Lord.” Who is sufficient for these things?
At the Lord’s Table He feeds you what you need. At this table the true prophet's eyes are not only open to the state of the people of God, but like Isaiah he falls down and cries, Isaiah 6:5 5 Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts. There he finds himself face to face with God, naked and exposed to the truth of his own unclean lips. There he sees as God sees and he is undone. Because he realizes first and foremost that he is but a man.
Compare this to the many voices one would hear at Jezebel’s table. Will you be able to hear His still small voice in the midst of the many other voices? Do not be fooled to think that at her table will we only find the worldly and sensual. No, as the master of deception, she will feed you the spiritual. You may even experience a thrill or a sensing of the ‘Holy Spirit” move upon you or strangely your surroundings and circumstances confirms the words spoken. Many has been slain at the hands of this horrible wicked woman, the very one who rides the beast in the time we find ourselves in. Is it any wonder that as she is the one who slays the prophets in history will once again rise up to slay the prophets of God again in this time? She knows very well who they are. They are not usually on the stage, or have a wide audience. But they are often in the background, until God releases them. And when the Word comes, it is like a fire and a hammer, and it overthrows her altars. The attack will be severe and with great viciousness. Where everyone else is cheering the latest prophecy, he will strangely stand back and wait on God and when it is required of him to speak up, against the grain of what everyone else believe, he will do it. Not in arrogance or in seeking disunity, but it will be a cry out of the depths of his being, seeing the thing as it truly is. He will be like a thorn and will be poking all in the eye. He will be as Elijah when Ahab confronted him and said, “Are you the one who troubles Israel?” Are you the one that upsets the applecart and our unity? Are you the one that judges us? And they will find ample reason to judge him, because often the prophet is one that strangely do not have it all together. His marriage is in shambles or his children are in rebellion. Something God would orchestrate to keep this man on his knees, not only in dependence on him, but to constantly humble him.
But who will recognize such a one as a true prophet? He fears God and not man. And even as he speaks, he will feel utterly alone and bereft. Like Elijah after his conflict with Jezebel, he will run to his cave, only to be fed again by the One whom he loves and fears. The message in him will ALWAYS cost him in the same way that Elijah said that there would be no rain, and had to endure the drought with them. It will be a constant dying over and over, not the elevated state we see of the many prophets of today. The truth is he is not even guaranteed that God would answer every time with fire, for the prophet is himself subject to God’s sovereignty and God is not obligated to explain it to him.
Remnant prophets are forged not at the table of feasting, but at the table of leniency. There where dependency and utter surrender is forged into his very being. Are you willing to be dealt with, even in solitude? Do not think this solitude has an expiry date on earth. It does not. There is often no pleasure found in the words he has to speak, for the true word of God is a fire and a hammer. A sword that pierces right into the marrow of the bone and divides the soul from spirit. It exposes and lay bare the intents and motives of the heart and leaves the hearers fuming with rage. For those who have ears to hear, it is as the healing balm of Gilead. Jesus cautioned us to judge righteously. Who can truly judge righteously unless you allow the Eternal judge to judge you first? David prayed, “Lord, judge me.” I leave you with the words spoken about Jesus and the Spirit that rested upon Him, that I believe rests upon the true prophets of God.
Isaiah 11: 1 - 5
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
Jeremiah 23: 17-18
17They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walks after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? Who hath marked his word, and heard it?
John 5: 30 – 44
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that bears witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witness of me is true.
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?