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WHEN it was necessary, in the course of divine providence, to make an example of the profligate Ahab, in the development of human depravity, the prophet Micaiah saw in his vision the Lord sitting on his throne, surrounded by the hosts of heaven, &c. “And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead? And there came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. 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 his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth and do so.” - 1 Kings xxii. 19-22.

The subject of this extraordinary commission to a lying spirit in the case of Ahab, is called forcibly to our recollection as we witness the unanimity of sentiment, language and zeal with which the New School divines of this peculiar ago of apostacy belch forth their opposition to the truth. A lying spirit was at that time in the mouth of Ahab’s prophets: and that lying spirit influenced them with one accord to flatter the king to his ruin, and to declare lies in the name of the Lord.

Now the course pursued by that lying spirit, and his influence on the king’s prophets, appears to correspond so precisely with the spirit and influence by which the false prophets. of our age are governed, that we cannot but mark the analogy. Thus:

First, They were Ahab’s prophets, not the prophets of the Lord. They were called into being and supported by king Ahab, whom they served, and were not called and qualified by the Lord, as was Aaron. So also these of our day are brought into existence, (not by divine calling) but by the authority of men only, are sustained also by men, and consequently are the prophets of men, as the others were the prophets of Ahab.

Second, They were. employed by Ahab to prophesy for him as he directed them; and so are these of our day employed by and subject to their worldly employers.

Third, They invariably flattered the king, and by so doing encouraged him in his opposition to the Lord. Even so do these, with whom we have to contend, invariably flatter their employers, by contending for human power and. ability, human excellence, law righteousness, and the sufficiency of human efforts to raise the dead and cast out devils, to save sinners, send forth the gospel, convert the heathen, and to evangelize the world; and by this course encourage their wicked rulers in their attempts to wrest the sceptre from the King of Zion, by assuming the high prerogative of managing the spiritual concerns of the church, and the destiny of the world.

Fourth. The prophets of Ahab, like their impious master, hated and persecuted the prophets of the Lord; and so to act their part, we witness a settled enmity manifested by the false apostles and prophets of our day, against all who maintain the primitive faith and order of the gospel; yea, all such as Micaiah must be doomed (as far as their power extends) to bread of affliction, and water of affliction, while the infatuated Ahabs of our day pursue their projects of going to possess the land.

And last, though not least, the insatiable reaching after legislative patronage by our modern Ahabitish prophets, gives us a fair counterpart to the disposition of their more ancient brethren, on whom the lying spirit operated.

January 12, 1837.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 339 – 340