Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ESV
“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams.”
Just because someone dreams a dream or prophesies something or gives a sign or a wonder of something he says is going to happen, and it comes true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that dream or that prophecy or sign was of God. It doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t of God, either, but what we need to know is that anything can be faked, altered, and photoshopped to appear real when it may not be real. And also know that liars and deceivers abound!
So, we should not run and jump on the “bandwagon” of people who seem to dabble in the supernatural just because, on a surface level, they seem to be legitimate. And remember that the Scriptures warn us against false signs and wonders which are intended to deceive naïve minds. So we need to be people of much spiritual discernment who test such things against the Scriptures, in context, and in prayer, seeking God’s face for truth.
Now, it is possible that people who are intending to deceive you may fake a miracle or a sign or a wonder of some sort in order to gain your confidence so that they can convince you to believe in lies. So, they are not likely to just come out and say, “Let us go after other gods.” For if Satan and if his servants just come right out and tell us bold faced lies or the truth of their intentions, not many are likely to be deceived, for they can see the lies.
So, false teachers, false prophets, and those proclaiming signs and wonders for the purpose to deceive are going to use trickery, deception, mind games, manipulation, half-truths and the twisting of truth, and even subliminal messages, in order to trick you into believing that what they are telling you is the truth, for they are master magicians doing their works of magic in order to deceive you into believing that they are of God.
So, they will remove Scriptures from their context and they will teach them in the way in which they want you to believe them, and they will get you to form your doctrines around select Scriptures taught out of context while they ignore the bulk of the Scriptures in the New Testament teaching on salvation, faith, holiness, righteousness, obedience, faithfulness, submission to Christ as Lord, the forsaking of our sins, and eternal life with God.
I have read at least two different “Christian” authors who used subliminal messages to make their points. They would place a passage of Scripture in their writing but then never refer to it or teach on it at all. But what it would do would be to give the message to the reader that what the author is writing about is supported by that passage of Scripture and that what he is saying is biblical. I imagine some pastors use this tactic, also.
Some of these speakers, authors, preachers, evangelists or professing prophets and apostles will not even teach the Scriptures or they will barely refer to the Scriptures at all, but they will just talk about whatever it is they want you to believe in. And many, many people are flocking to them and are following them and are regarding their words as from God when what they are teaching is contrary to what the Scriptures teach, in many cases.
So, test everything you hear and read and think you see (yes, even videos can be faked), and test it against the Scriptures (in context), and in prayer, so that you are not led astray to go after “false gods” which can just be these false teachers and their false teachings. And “memes” on social media are havens for false teachers and false teachings, and they can be very deceptive and manipulative, so pray and seek God before you click “like.”
Deuteronomy 13:3-4 ESV
“For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.”
Now our God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is completely sovereign over all that he has made, so he allows us to see and to hear and to read these things that these false teachers are putting out there. And one of the reasons is to test us to see if we will hold true to the truth of the gospel or whether we will be persuaded to go off course with these charlatans and wolves in sheep’s clothing who can be so charming and persuasive.
Now the Lord does not test us because he needs that to know what is in our hearts or how we are going to respond. He knows. He is God. He does it for our benefit, to prove to us if our faith is genuine or not, or perhaps to show us areas of weakness where we need to be strengthened in the Lord. And it is to show us if our love for God is genuine or not, too. For our actions, when we are tried, prove what we really believe or don’t believe.
And the goal of this time of testing is to show us, if we will listen, and if we will pay attention, where we are lacking in faith and in trust in our Lord, and where we are short on love for God, i.e. where we are not loving him with all our heart and soul. For to love God is to obey him, and if we love him like this, we are going to obey him fully and not half-heartedly or just in half, period. Our lives will be surrendered to him to do his will for our lives.
For, if we are genuine in our walks of faith in the Lord Jesus it should be obvious in our attitudes and in our actions and obedience. For we are to walk (in conduct, in practice) after the Lord our God in righteousness and in holiness, in obedience to our Lord, and for the glory and praise of God. And this is not just OT teaching. This is NT teaching, too. For if we do not obey the Lord, and if righteousness is not our practice, but if sin is what we practice, instead, we will not inherit eternal life with God.
For faith in Jesus Christ is not just a verbal proclamation of him as Lord and Savior of our lives. Faith in Jesus Christ involves dying with him to sin, not just once, but daily, and it involves walking in obedience to his commands. It involves us surrendering our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but now transformed of the Spirit of God to walk in the ways of God.
For when we believe in Jesus, we give up ownership of our own lives. We now become his possession, and our lives are now his to be used for his glory and purposes. We now honor God with our lives, we reverence the Lord, we respect him, and we take him and his word seriously and we apply his truths now to our daily walks of faith. Our life goal should now be to serve the Lord in any way he chooses for us, out of obedience to him.
So, please know that if this does not describe your Christian life, it needs to. If you are still living for self and for the sinful pleasures this world has to offer, and if you are following after the idols of this world and not after the will of God for your life, and if sin is what you practice, and if righteousness and obedience to the Lord are not what you practice, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven no matter what your lips have professed.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]
Rejoice in the Lord
By Ron Hamilton
God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.
Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.
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