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JUDY8650
Aug 21st 2010, 09:40 PM
Can someone explain this:

19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
24 But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?
(1 Kings 22:19-24)

Are there lying spirits in Heaven, or was this before Satan and his angels were cast out, or what?

markedward
Aug 21st 2010, 10:20 PM
One must pay careful attention to what's going on in 1 King 22.

Ahab is the King of Israel. Obviously, he doesn't want to hear any bad news, or anything that would suggest he's a bad king, so he surrounds himself with prophets, who prophesy favorably for him. In reality, these "prophets" are liars, they are false prophets, who tell Ahab what he wants to hear. They're not really receiving any divine messages from God, they're just saying anything they can to make Ahab happy. Later, Ahab allies himself with Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, and the two decide to fight against Syria in order to seize the city of Ramoth-Gilead. So Jehoshaphat tells Ahab, "Hey, see what God has to say about this." So Ahab consults his "prophets", who tell him, "Oh, yeah, you'll have no problem taking Ramoth-Gilead!"

Jehoshaphat, however, is suspicious that every single "prophet" is in agreement that Ahab will be victorious. Surely if Ahab was a good king, and hired out his "prophets" objectively, there would be at least some disagreement between false and true prophets. So Jehoshaphat asks Ahab, "Are there any other prophets around that we haven't consulted?" Ahab, reluctantly, agrees to seek the advice of the prophet Micaiah, but he tells Jehoshaphat, "This prophet only ever says bad things about me." That's our hint; would a prophet risk telling the King of Israel that he's a lousy king if he wasn't a true prophet from God?

So they get Micaiah, and Micaiah tells Ahab, "Oh, yeah, you'll win Ramoth-Gilead too." But Ahab thinks to himself, "Wait, this guy only ever says bad stuff about me, so why is he saying good things?" So Ahab tells Micaiah, "Speak truthfully now, don't sugarcoat God's word." So Micaiah answers, "Your forces are going to be scattered, like sheep without a shepherd."

Now Ahab's upset. "See Jehoshaphat? He only says bad things about me!"

Then Micaiah responds with the portion of the text you have in the first post above. But is Micaiah really saying that God literally sent "a lying spirit", or is there another possible meaning?

I would say that God didn't literally send "a lying spirit", as in, an angel whose mission is to lie. What God did is the same as what Paul said in his letter:
2 Thessalonians 2.11-12: Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.Ahab was a wicked king. God's will was that Ahab should be removed from power over Israel. So in accordance with God's divine will, he enabled and allowed Ahab to surround himself with false prophets. God's punishment was that Ahab would be killed in battle. But in historical fulfillment, Ahab was the one who caused it to happen, because he was the one who voluntarily listened to the lying prophets that he surrounded himself with. God decreed the punishment, and Ahab unknowingly carried it out himself.

But there's one thing most Christians fail to notice. Micaiah reveals to Ahab that God wanted Ahab to believe the lie, because that would mean Ahab would end up going to Ramoth-Gilead and receiving his divine punishment. But when Micaiah is told to prophesy something good for Ahab, Micaiah says, "I will say what God tells me to say"... and then he lies to Ahab. Micaiah was intentionally agreeing with all of the other prophets because that's what God told him to do.

What Micaiah describes is simply a prophetic vision he has that represents what actually happened through a simpler series of images. Instead of describing the whole backstory to Ahab's wickedness, and Micaiah simply says, "God decreed that you should be punished, and sent a lying spirit to cause that punishment to come to fruition." Micaiah's vision in 1 Kings 22.19-23 is no more literal than Zechariah's vision in Zechariah 5.5-11. Prophetic visions represent historical events through symbolic representations. Sometimes these symbolic representations are simpler than the historical events themselves (e.g. 1 Kings 22.19-23; Zechariah 5.5-11; Malachi 4.2-3), and sometimes they are incredibly complex (e.g. Ezekiel 16; Daniel 7; Revelation 4-22).

JUDY8650
Aug 21st 2010, 11:07 PM
One must pay careful attention to what's going on in 1 King 22.

Ahab is the King of Israel. Obviously, he doesn't want to hear any bad news, or anything that would suggest he's a bad king, so he surrounds himself with prophets, who prophesy favorably for him. In reality, these "prophets" are liars, they are false prophets, who tell Ahab what he wants to hear. They're not really receiving any divine messages from God, they're just saying anything they can to make Ahab happy. Later, Ahab allies himself with Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, and the two decide to fight against Syria in order to seize the city of Ramoth-Gilead. So Jehoshaphat tells Ahab, "Hey, see what God has to say about this." So Ahab consults his "prophets", who tell him, "Oh, yeah, you'll have no problem taking Ramoth-Gilead!"

Jehoshaphat, however, is suspicious that every single "prophet" is in agreement that Ahab will be victorious. Surely if Ahab was a good king, and hired out his "prophets" objectively, there would be at least some disagreement between false and true prophets. So Jehoshaphat asks Ahab, "Are there any other prophets around that we haven't consulted?" Ahab, reluctantly, agrees to seek the advice of the prophet Micaiah, but he tells Jehoshaphat, "This prophet only ever says bad things about me." That's our hint; would a prophet risk telling the King of Israel that he's a lousy king if he wasn't a true prophet from God?

So they get Micaiah, and Micaiah tells Ahab, "Oh, yeah, you'll win Ramoth-Gilead too." But Ahab thinks to himself, "Wait, this guy only ever says bad stuff about me, so why is he saying good things?" So Ahab tells Micaiah, "Speak truthfully now, don't sugarcoat God's word." So Micaiah answers, "Your forces are going to be scattered, like sheep without a shepherd."

Now Ahab's upset. "See Jehoshaphat? He only says bad things about me!"

Then Micaiah responds with the portion of the text you have in the first post above. But is Micaiah really saying that God literally sent "a lying spirit", or is there another possible meaning?

I would say that God didn't literally send "a lying spirit", as in, an angel whose mission is to lie. What God did is the same as what Paul said in his letter:
2 Thessalonians 2.11-12: Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.Ahab was a wicked king. God's will was that Ahab should be removed from power over Israel. So in accordance with God's divine will, he enabled and allowed Ahab to surround himself with false prophets. God's punishment was that Ahab would be killed in battle. But in historical fulfillment, Ahab was the one who caused it to happen, because he was the one who voluntarily listened to the lying prophets that he surrounded himself with. God's decreed the punishment, and Ahab unknowingly carried it out himself.

But there's one thing most Christians fail to notice. Micaiah reveals to Ahab that God wanted Ahab to believe the lie, because that would mean Ahab would end up going to Ramoth-Gilead and receiving his divine punishment. But when Micaiah is told to prophesy something good for Ahab, Micaiah says, "I will say what God tells me to say"... and then he lies to Ahab. Micaiah was intentionally agreeing with all of the other prophets because that's what God told him to do.

What Micaiah describes is simply a prophetic vision he has that represents what actually happened through a simpler series of images. Instead of describing the whole backstory to Ahab's wickedness, and Micaiah simply says, "God decreed that you should be punished, and sent a lying spirit to cause that punishment to come to fruition." Micaiah's vision in 1 Kings 22.19-23 is no more literal than Zechariah's vision in Zechariah 5.5-11. Prophetic visions represent historical events through symbolic representations. Sometimes these symbolic representations are simpler than the historical events themselves (e.g. 1 Kings 22.19-23; Zechariah 5.5-11; Malachi 4.2-3), and sometimes they are incredibly complex (e.g. Ezekiel 16; Daniel 7; Revelation 4-22).

That makes sense. Thank you.

JohnDB
Aug 22nd 2010, 08:44 PM
The part of this story about where Micaiah tells Ahab to "go and be victorious" isn't exactly a lie...it was extreme sarcasm. These two men had an obvious history.

Prophets are normal men with one incredible gift and honor...of speaking the Word of the Lord...which was usually the result of the sin of mankind. Famine, wars and etc...Prophets usually didn't tell people what they wanted to hear but what they needed to hear.

Micaiah told Ahab about his preference for these prophets of his....and the result of listening to them. God doesn't lie...God warned Ahab...Ahab refused to listen. Jehosophat didn't listen either and paid a high price.