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If there arises among you a prophet … and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, “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. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

As we mentioned yesterday, adding to and taking from the Word of God is forbidden and with good reason. By doing this, it is suggested that the Word of God is imperfect which leads to concluding that certain commands — especially the one we don’t like — are invalid. In turn, an environment is generated that teaches what we think and believe is honorable and holy when, in reality, it may be abominable in the eyes of God. It is within this context that we are warned of false prophets or prophets who misappropriate their gift.

In fact, please note that Moses did not use the term “false prophet” but simply “prophet” – albeit one who has the gift of prophecy but has been led astray. That compels us to consider this verse: “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Paul’s statement is made within the context of an unbelieving Israel who nevertheless retain the gift and the calling God has ordained for them. In other words, just because someone isn’t walking in their calling doesn’t mean they are relieved of the calling. I would suggest that the same principle can be applied here.

Consider that when Saul, the son of Kish, was anointed to be king, “the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them” (1 Samuel 10:10-11). However, later in life pride took over his life and God removed His Presence from him which resulted in, “The distressing spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house” (1 Samuel 18:10-12). The point is, even though the unction came from a different source, he continued to prophesy — the gift was not removed.

There is a reason Messiah did not say, “You shall know them by their gift” but said, “You will know them by their fruit.” Keep in mind that even though the LORD had departed Saul, he prophesied more than once after the distressing spirit came upon him (see 1 Samuel 19). Therefore, we are not to be surprised or led astray when we see a prophet produce a sign or a dream that comes to pass. Even then, examine the fruit in the person’s life — test the spirits — to determine whether or not these things are from God.

Furthermore, in the case of an errant prophet, let us pray that God will intervene to bring repentance and restoration, knowing that, as long as there is air in our lungs, there is always the potential for repentance. So today and every day, we must be diligent to know the truth and to stand upon it.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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