The “Prophet”

As people leave their cars and file into the church the air is filled with conversations and anticipation. The seats begin to fill. There are no drums, guitars, or keyboards. No instruments fill a corner of the room.

Someone is heard telling their neighbor, “The prophet is going to speak this morning. I’m so excited!” A hush passes through the room as the “prophet” walks across the floor and sets two books on the podium. He smiles brightly and says, “Good morning” and all echo their greeting back to him.

Sitting in the back row of the room a Man sits quietly, watching and listening.

The “prophet” opens one book and holds it up for all to see. Then he opens the second book and holds it up. “We will be reading from both,” he tells the people.

He reads a scripture from the first book, the Holy Bible and pauses.

All eyes are riveted to the “Prophet” and all are listening intently. The “Prophet” takes a deep breath and exhales slowly before stating matter-of-factually, “We know this is not true!” He sets the book down.

All heads nod in agreement – except one.

The “Prophet” picks up the second book while stating, “Now we will hear truth,” and reads from it and begins to expound on the words he’s just read to the people. A lady begins to cry, another hands her a tissue and lovingly pats her on the shoulder.

The “Prophet” stops speaking, as the crying lady’s tears turn to loud sobs. When he asks her what’s wrong she chokes back the sobs and exclaims, “My dead Aunt just told me she’s here with us.” Applause fills the room and cheerful conversation fills the room.

The Man stands to His feet and slowly walks toward the front of the room. He looks into the eyes of the “Prophet” and then turns to the people.

People look to each other, some turn in their seats, “Who is he?” is whispered around the room.

He waits. He looks sternly across the group of people.

He waits.

Someone shouts, “Who are you?”

Murmurs fill the room.

He waits.

When it quiets down He states, “I am the I Am and I have come to tell you to beware of false prophets. There are many wolves dressed in sheep’s clothes. Be not deceived.” He looks directly at the “Prophet.”

The room bursts into angry accusations, threats, and clenched fists. “Who does He think He is!?” One woman shouts.

The Man pays no heed as He slowly walks to the back of the room and out the door.

(Sue’s version) Matthew 7:15

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Billy Graham: Judas is a ‘Warning’

By Michael W. Chapman | March 22, 2016 | 3:27 PM EDT

Pastor Billy Graham (Photo: BGEA)

World-renowned pastor Billy Graham said that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver because of his “unbelief” and interest only in himself,  and that because of his self-inflicted death, whereby he lost everything, Judas “stands forever as a warning of the dangers of stubborn unbelief.”

In a Q&A section on faith, published in the Kansas City Star, a reader asked Rev. Graham, “I’ve never really understood why Judas betrayed Jesus. After all, he witnessed Jesus’ miracles and heard his teaching just like the other disciples, and yet he ended up turning against him. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Billy Graham said, “No, it doesn’t make sense, just as most evil doesn’t make sense. Why deliberately do something we know is wrong, when — if we’d only stop to think about it — we also know it will destroy us? The Bible says, ‘Do not … be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future'” (Proverbs 24:19-20).

“Judas’ real problem was that he was interested only in himself and what he could gain by following Jesus,” said Rev. Graham.  “Instead of committing his life to Jesus, he allowed greed and envy to rule his heart and mind. His unbelief fed his greed, and his greed fed his unbelief.”

“When Jesus’ enemies offered 30 pieces of silver to anyone who would disclose where Jesus was staying so they could arrest him secretly, Judas readily agreed,” said the pastor.

“Judas stands forever as a warning of the dangers of stubborn unbelief,” said Rev. Graham.  “And in the end, Judas lost everything, even his life.”

Artist’s illustration of Judas

betraying Jesus with a kiss. 

(Public Domain.) 

Billy Graham continued,  “Some of the most tragic words in the Bible are these, ‘So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself’ (Matthew 27:5). Make sure of your commitment to Jesus, for he alone is worthy of your life.”

Billy Graham, 97, is one of the most well known and respected evangelical preachers of the last 60 years.  His gospel preaching reportedly has reached about 2.2 billion people worldwide over the years. He has five children and lives, now retired, at his home in Montreat, N.C. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in 2007.

This Q&A on the Bible can also be read at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman