What Are You Doing Nathan? – Telling The Difference Between God’s Prophets And False Prophets
1 Chronicles 17:1 – Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains.
1 Chronicles 17:2 – Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
1 Chronicles 17:3 – And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
1 Chronicles 17:4 – Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
Hello readers, new blog time today. Today’s blog is a biggy. I saw a truth in scripture recently and it is mind boggling how accurate it is and how relevant it is for us today. There are so many Christians sucked in by false prophets, but they don’t even know what a prophet is.
You know what a prophet was in the Old Testament? A prophet of God was the guy you went to who told you God’s word. You went to see a prophet when you wanted to know what God’s word said. People today have been taken in by false prophets declaring all sorts of things, making all sorts of prophetic forecasts, having dreams and visions, giving all sorts of advice, saying all sorts of things.
But God hasn’t sent them.
If you read Deuteronomy 18, you’ll see Moses saying God was going to raise up a Prophet after him like Moses was. Capital “p” prophet, because this is an Old Testament reference to Jesus Christ. Moses was a prophet. Prophets were very important people in the nation of Israel, because they were they who knew what God’s word was and what God had said. Thus you’d go to them for advice on what to do.
However, as 2 Peter 2 says “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you”. People are following all sorts of false prophets. But they’re not prophets of God. Under the law, a prophet that spoke presumptuously was meant to be put to death. Here is the verse… Deuteronomy 18:20 – “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.”
That’s pretty severe huh. You know what speaking presumptuously is? It means you’re speaking on behalf of God… when God hasn’t spoken to you. You’re saying what God has said, when God hasn’t said it. We are told there are MANY false prophets gone out into the world in the book of 1 John. There are many people who dare to speak on behalf of God, but they do not have God’s word in their mouth.
Looky here at this verse. Jeremiah 1:9 – “Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” God had called Jeremiah to serve, and Jeremiah couldn’t be God’s prophet without God putting his word in his mouth. Jeremiah didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know how to say it. He needed God to teach him and show him what to say. It’s the same for us. Where do we get taught what to say, how to think, how to live? God’s word.
God’s prophets were those who faithfully relayed what God said. And they were NOT popular. They were persecuted and killed. There were heaps of fakes, wicked king Ahab and his queen Jezebel had plenty of favorites, but there were a few prophets, the true prophets of God, and they hated them. They hated Elijah. They hated Micaiah.
Look at this verse. This is God talking to Moses at the burning bush… Exodus 4:12 – “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” Moses told Pharaoh and the Hebrews what God’s word said. You know what sets a the man of God apart from the presumptuous lying prophet? The man of God tells you what God’s word says, the man of God speaks in accordance with God’s word… but the presumptuous prophet does not.
When you think about it, we as believers (if you are saved) have it so much better than going to see a prophet at Jerusalem today. Imagine if you wanted to hear God’s word, and find out what God says to do, and you’re living in Australia like I am, and even worse you’re under a strict coronavirus lockdown… and you want God’s word but are unable to get to Israel to see the man of God. That’s pretty tough huh. But look at the grace that has come to us which 1 Peter speaks of. You can go to God’s word directly yourself and find out what God has said. No long journey, no middle man, straight from the horse’s mouth. No lie, no fable, no deception, just a fountain of truth. What could be better?
I titled this blog “what are you doing Nathan?” because this is what God was saying to Nathan the prophet. The situation is that king David has asked Nathan the prophet what he should do, after all, Nathan is the prophet and speaks on behalf of God. He’s meant to tell David what God’s word says so David can order his life in accordance with God’s word. Nathan should basically be like a walking Holy Bible. That’s what the prophets were. And when people speak to us, we should speak in accordance with God’s word. 1 Peter 4:11 says “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God”.
David is wanting to honor God in his life. He’s wanting to serve God. What do I do with my life? What do I do with the ark of the covenant that’s sitting here in this tent? David’s dwelling in a pretty good place, but the ark of the covenant is sitting in a tent somewhere. So what do I do Nathan? He was consulting the right guy, the prophet of God. Wanting to find out what to do in accordance to God’s word is the right thing to do. So Nathan has a big responsibility to advise David based on God’s word.
So what do I do Nathan? And Nathan says to David… ” Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.” WOW. If you could encapsulate what modern pastors and preachers and prophets are like today, it’s in that sentence. It wasn’t what God said, but it sure sounded good. But Nathan was speaking presumptuously. He was speaking on God’s behalf… when God had not said it.
People really like a preacher and a teacher today that says “do all that is in thine heart”. This is a snapshot of what your average pastor today is like. What do I do? Just do whatever you want to do, God is with you. Follow your heart. Your heart is what’s important. Not God’s word. Do what seems right to you. Do what feels good. What’s right is what feels right to you. Oh and “God is with thee”. Oh really? How did Nathan know? He didn’t. He wasn’t speaking to David in accordance to God’s word. He was giving advice NOT based on what God had said.
You know why churches are like they are? Because the pastor, or your favorite prophet online, they’re just saying what you want to hear. Boy you like hearing that. You know how many people think God is with them… when he isn’t? Multitudes. Read 1 Samuel 4, a whole NATION thought God was with them when he wasn’t. Even the Philistines thought God was with Israel, when he was totally against them. But you don’t want to hear God is against you in your sin and disobedience do you. We don’t mind a God who’s fine with whatever our is in our heart to do. We’ll take that God right?
You don’t want to hear God’s word do you. You want to be told what you want to hear. And any pastor wanting to protect his dollar, pad his wallet and live a nice easy trouble free life knows that. Say what they want to hear, pander to their feelings and desires and God is with you! What does the Bible say about the heart? Well, the Bible says the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Listen to your heart is the worst advice someone can give you, much less from the man of God.
What does the Bible say? That’s what matters. David wanted to know what to do. How do we know what to do with our lives? How do know what to do in our lives? How do we honour God and glorify him in our thinking, speaking and doing? David was well meaning. David was sincere. David had learnt the hard way to obey God’s word, he’d tried bringing that ark back to Israel based on what he thought and consensus… but it had failed miserably until he obeyed God’s word.
Nathan was well meaning. Nathan was sincere. But Nathan was wrong. What God’s word said to do was different to what David thought he should do and wanted to do. What God’s word said was different to Nathan’s advice. People like to hear what Nathan told David. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter what you think, it doesn’t matter how you feel, it doesn’t matter how well intentioned you are even… what is right to do is what God says to do.
God’s word is the authority for a true believer’s life. What’s right is what God’s word says is right. What’s wrong is what God’s word says is wrong. We need to get what to do from God’s word, not out of our wicked heart and from bad advice. Just because he was Nathan the prophet didn’t mean he could go off on his own giving his opinion… nobody rises above and outgrows and outranks God’s word.
You know, Nathan was a prophet of God. But he’d spoken out of turn. He hadn’t said to David, I’ll go and see what God says. And God came to Nathan that night and set him straight. What are you doing Nathan? What have you said? Go and fix this up. God set Nathan straight the same night he had said that to David. God said, go and tell David, Thou shalt NOT build me an house to dwell in. Based on Nathan’s advice and opinion and how he felt about it all based on what he’d heard and seen, David was being led to doing something wrong and against the word of God. James 3:1 says “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” Hey, you’re representing God and influencing others in what they think and how they do? Better take it seriously, you’ve got greater condemnation coming.
The most important thing is, Nathan obeyed God’s word and set it right. He didn’t get proud, he didn’t justify and jack up against the word of God. No, Nathan went and told David what God had told him to tell David. Don’t do what you think and feel and desire… do what God’s said to do. 1 Chronicles 17:15 – “According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.” This is Nathan the prophet now doing what true prophets of God do. They faithfully relay God’s word. They’re not saying what they think, they’re not giving their own opinions, they’re not buttering their audience up and setting them up to disobey God… they’re telling them, thus saith the Lord.
Maybe that’s not exciting enough for you. You like your modern prophets and their cool visions and dreams and insights and prophecies… but you’re being lied to. You’re not getting God’s word, and God’s not with you. And they’re leading you in violation to God’s word. It’s funny how you end up reading the Bible for yourself, and none of this modern Christian stuff matches the word of God at all. They’ve grown apart. They’re going to serve God their way. They’re doing life their way. And God is not in it or with it. How many Christians are living a life running against “thou shalt nots?”
The Bible says in Revelation 19:10 that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The Bible is our prophetic word. You know, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved is prophetic! There is no more revelation. At the end of the book of Revelation, the next thing is “Surely I come quickly.” That’s what’s next. You have the Bible. You have it so that in 2 Timothy 3:17 – “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” God’s word is all the believer needs, it’s what you need, and it’s all that you need.
Do you want to hear God’s word? Or do you want to hear “Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.” The word of God came to Nathan that same night and set Nathan straight. He could now give David God’s wisdom on what direction to take in his life. Remember all those false prophets that got Ahab killed in 2 Chronicles 18? There were a lot of them, hundreds in fact, all saying go up, God has delivered the Syrian army into your hand. But those prophets all had the same lying spirit. And Ahab believed them, and even good king Jehoshaphat got caught up in the lies of the false prophets. Oh they put on a big show, they showed them signs that they would win… but they were lying, they were not saying what God’s word had said. God had not spoken by them.
What are you doing Nathan? What are you doing reader? It’s time to wake up. High time. It doesn’t matter what you think. It doesn’t matter how you feel. That’s not what’s right. What’s right to do is what God has said to do in his word. You can open your Bible and find out what God has said anytime you so desire. A true prophet of God, a true man of God, he it is that will tell you what God has said based on his word. Lies will make you fall, they made Ahab fall. Do you want the truth? There’s a big market for false prophets today, and just like back then, even so today they are just as popular for ever… but they do not have God’s word in their mouth. If God set the man of God straight, we also need to be set straight by God’s word in our lives. It’s not about what we think, it’s about what God has said. Learn from the lessons of scripture today, get in the Bible, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, be saved and walk in accordance with the word of the Lord in your life today.
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Joseph View All →
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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