Proof Paul Could Be Duped
Just because someone is a prophet does not mean they cannot be duped by someone who claims to be a true prophet (and in fact was a prophet). And this proves being a prophet does not mean you are constantly inspired or otherwise, in the account we now unfold, why did not the young prophet not know by inspiration that the old prophet was lying?
In 1 Ki. 13:1-32, we find a young prophet was deceived by an older prophet, and caused the young prophet to disobey God. The old prophet told the young prophet that God changed his mind, and that the young prophet could return home by another way. But this was false.
As Dan Corner explains, this young prophet had some exceptional traits but was "deceived" by the older prophet even though he was "sincere." (Dan Corner, False Prophecy.)
This story proves there is such a thing as a "temptation to disobey" which "came through one who professed to be a messenger of God Almighty and was lying." (Dan Corner, False Prophecy.)
Dan Corner comments on the young prophet of Judah as a dupe of the old prophet:
He was unaware of his dangerous condition for he was resting in a false security because he was deceived. (Dan Corner, False Prophecy.)
Then Dan Corner makes an insightful analysis of the danger of deception by one claiming inspiration:
Verses 8 through 10 show that he was sincere, fully committed and not a lover of money. In spite of this impressive description, he was not fully alert, though sincere, and it cost him his life! He did spot the potential danger of disobedience through following the advice of the king and he quickly refused. However, a more subtle and dangerous form of this same kind of temptation to disobey came through one who professed to be a messenger of God Almighty and was lying. It was because of him that the man of God unwittingly lowered his guard and died because he was deceived. Jesus said that false prophets are ferocious wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15). Remember, the Lord likened His servants to sheep. The natural enemy of a sheep is a wolf. But Jesus didn't just say a false prophet was a wolf, He said a ferocious wolf. On top of all this, this deadly enemy of sheep won't appear dangerous because they will look innocent and harmless like Christians, for they are dressed in sheep's clothing! Things are not always as they first appear. We must be careful. It's part of our battle.
What is the lesson learned from the experience of the young prophet? Dan Corner explains accurately:
Where did the unnamed prophet from Judah go wrong, and how can we benefit from his mistake? These are two questions we should ask ourselves. It seems that he was deceived because he was too ready to believe a report that was allegedly from God. He especially should have been suspicious when that report conflicted with God's will for him. (God would never contradict Himself.) God's Word warns, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world," 1 Jn. 4:1. This is what he should have done. (This is what we better do!) But how do we "test the spirits to see whether they are from God"? .... God's Word is [the] final authority for knowing God's will. If a message does come through an angel, which was the alleged case in 1 Kings 13, that message would have to agree with God's Word.
And so a false prophet is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Listen to Dan Corner's conclusion:
The source of ruin for the unnamed prophet wasn't a wolf (Jeroboam), but instead a wolf in sheep's clothing (the religious, old, lying prophet)! A religious person, appearing as our friend and citing a false prophecy, can be our most dangerous enemy.