Bible Commentary: Deuteronomy 13

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Deuteronomy 13

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A Dreamer of Dreams 

Moses continues warning against the danger of pagan worship. God commanded that everyone who would try to introduce Israel to the worship of other gods had to be killed—including one’s brother, son, daughter, wife or close friend—“so all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you” (Deuteronomy 13:6-11 Deuteronomy 13:6-11 [6] If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, which is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you, nor your fathers; [7] Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, near to you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; [8] You shall not consent to him, nor listen to him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shall you spare, neither shall you conceal him: [9] But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first on him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. [10] And you shall stone him with stones, that he die; because he has sought to thrust you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. [11] And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
American King James Version×
). Today, the death penalty is not being carried out, of course, by spiritual Israel—the Church. Nevertheless, the principle of spiritual and, if need be, physical separation from wrong influences still applies. Christ clearly told His disciples: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37-38 Matthew 10:37-38 [37] He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.
American King James Version×
). Christ expects His disciples to choose between Him and their relatives when it comes to conflict in worship and true Christian living. We are to leave every form of paganism, and we are not to allow anyone to entice us to return to it.

In addition, Israel was admonished to not be deceived even by a prophet or a dreamer whose prophecies or dreams came true—if his goal was to influence others to worship pagan gods (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 Deuteronomy 13:1-5 [1] If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, [2] And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; [3] You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. [4] 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 join to him. [5] And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which the LORD your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from the middle of you.
American King James Version×
). Rather, such a prophet was to be killed too. Isaiah later gives us the way to discern a false prophet or teacher: “To the law and to the testimony [i.e., Holy Scripture]! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20 Isaiah 8:20To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
American King James Version×
). Sometimes false prophets will arise, prophesying events that do come to pass so as to “test” us in order to “know” whether we really love God with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:3 Deuteronomy 13:3You shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
American King James Version×
). In fact, in a few years from now, a powerful religious figure will appear on the world scene, called the “lawless one” or “false prophet,” who will perform “signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9 2 Thessalonians 2:9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
American King James Version×
). Satan will give him the power to do so; and by those signs he will deceive the multitudes (Revelation 19:20 Revelation 19:20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
American King James Version×
; for more information, request or download our free booklet, The Book of Revelation Unveiled). Also, at that time, “false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24 Matthew 24:24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
American King James Version×
). Therefore, signs and wonders are no proof that the person performing them is from God. Yet, unless we have received the “love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10 2 Thessalonians 2:10And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
American King James Version×
) and are seriously committed to God’s way of life, we too can become deceived by those mighty signs, believing that, because of them, the religious message of the “prophet” or “dreamer” must be believed—and followed.

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