For God So Loved…

A famous verse from the Bible. Even if you’ve been spending time on Mars or refusing to watch football games (like me). The one you see on signs on youtube videos from sporting events (even if you’re not watching the game). John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)

Usually this is foisted upon people like some sort of magical elixir. “All you have to do is believe in Jesus, and you’ll be saved!” goes the sentiment. Of course, this depends on how you define “belief,” because, after all, the demons also “believe” and shudder. But they ain’t saved.

However, I wanted to look at this a little different. God loved us so much He gave His only begotten Son over to be cruelly tortured and murdered for our sake. How about if I were to write a similar type of verse to God? “For Bruce so loved God that He gave”….what? “That he gave” a few Sundays to sitting in a building listening to some overstuffed overpaid preacher harangue me into sleep? “That he gave” a few bucks in the plate? “That he gave” some time in the choir for the Christmas play, or helped with coffee at the sunrise service? “That he gave” a few minutes to say “grace” for a meal or two? (Oh, and a couple times he even “gave” the grace for a meal in an actual restaurant where everyone could see him!) “That he gave” a grudging few minutes a year to actually reading God’s Words squeezed in between episodes of his favorite TV shows when he had the time and wasn’t too busy with grasping after the world’s kingdoms?

Or would I say, “I looked everywhere for your words. I hungered and thirsted after them. I ate them and drank them as if they were life itself. I took the huge amount of ‘grace money’ or ‘talents’ (way more than ten talents of gold) you gave me through the blood of my friend and made more out of it. I changed my diet as you asked. I celebrated the holidays you gave me. I worked six days as you commanded and rested one, where we met together every week. These were little enough to do considering the eternal life in your Son you gave me. After a while, wonder of wonders, the “small things” and “shadows” you commanded helped me to also give you the weightier actions of mercy, justice and compassion. In short, instead of just singing about giving my life to you, I really gave it. Instead of just proclaiming the wonders of your love by chasing people down and thumping them with a Bible verse through the TV I made your love and commands the priority of my life. The light you caused to shine in me through those commands made a greater impact on others than all my words put together.”

What would I give in return for the mountain of forgiveness, grace and love poured out to me from the source of all light, life and love? All I’ve got was given to me, so all I can do is give it back. All of it. Every scrap. Throw myself on the ground in abject humility in front of His throne and give Him the crown He has given me. Not sit in judgment on which of His words I will deign to follow and which I will not. Not clutter them up with all sorts of tradition and theology that blocks access to Him. Those don’t make for much of return on the “God so loved” investment, I don’t think. I can do better than that. He made it possible. Other not-so-famous verses give the clues:

“…yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39).

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34).

Shalom

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom?

In Genesis 18 around verse 16 or 22 (depending on the version) there is a subtitle in the ESV, the NKJV, and the NIV84 that reads “Abraham Intercedes (Pleads) for Sodom.” This is not correct, according to the text.

 

The scene is after a BBQ Abraham put on for two angels and Jesus (the LORD), where a son has been promised to the happy couple (okay, they were laughing anyway). The men leave, but as Abraham is walking with Jesus the LORD stops to tell him that it looks like Sodom and Gomorrah are going to be toasted. Abraham intercedes, not for Sodom, but for the possible righteous living in those cities. Abraham asks, “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (18:23). He starts off with the number 50, and bargains God down to 10. Jesus says if He can find 10 righteous He will not destroy the cities.

 

This is important because current modern sentiment would have us believing that we are to run around asking God to forego judgment on wicked people. “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” is a popular summary of this idea. Sometimes this text is cited for proof. But the sentiment is biblically out of whack. Judgment is not only for the recipient, but also for any others around watching the proceedings. God’s judgment on sin is part of God’s love. It is why Jesus had to die. Abraham is not concerned with the cities. He is concerned that the righteous be not condemned with the wicked. He does not argue for postponing judgment, he only wants the righteous saved (probably thinking of his nephew Lot).

 

It’s true that we shouldn’t wish for God’s judgment to fall on anyone. His judgment is awful and final. We want to pray for the conversion of our enemies, and ask God for His mercy. He is, I think, happy to grant it, but the key is to repent. The repentant sinner is welcomed with open arms, but the unrepentant stay locked on the path of judgment. So biblically we would say, “Love the repentant sinner, and hate the sin.” Too many in modern times want to stretch the mercy of God to cover wicked people assembling with them or residing in their homes. This is a misunderstanding. We are not to approve, accept or tolerate the sinner.

 

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:32, ESV)

 

Removing the unrepentant sinner from our midst is about the best thing we can do for them. It is the ultimate gesture of love. A little bit of judgment now that might help the sinner repent is much better than a whole lot later when it is too late. By isolating them (a very tiny gesture of judgment) we hope they will see the folly of their ways and repent. Then they can be restored to full fellowship. Letting them go on and on down the path of death because we are afraid of “hurt feelings,” the loss of friendship or the loss of family members is an act of hate. I know of a Messianic synagogue who had a key elder announce a divorce to his wife on Yom Kippur. They did not boot him out of the congregation. As a result in my opinion, the divorce went ahead. Later, the congregation split over this and other things. I think the lady is better off, but that is not the point. I know the temptation was to “love the sinner” but what they did was “love” him right into wicked behavior.

 

Peter seems to tell us that God does not want anyone to perish. A reasonable idea, and perhaps close to the mark. However, a closer reading will give us insight more in line with Abraham’s intercession for the righteous.

 

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9, ESV)

 

See how the Lord is patient “toward you?” (believers – see verse 1:1). He does not want any of His children to perish, but that all should reach repentance. Full repentance is not reached until death. We have to repent, and stay repented (or repent again if we fail). We help each other to repent by any means available. Believers have to keep believing. Not all who call Him “Lord, Lord” will be with Him in the kingdom.

 

The only intercession we can make for the wicked is that they would take advantage of the patience of God and repent. We, like God, would love it if they would do so.

 

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4, ESV)

 

So repent already. It’s easy now. Later, not so much.
Shalom
Bruce

Daughter’s Wedding

Watching a little bit of my daughter’s wedding video as I transfer it from tape to a computer file. It was a happy occasion, but I was a little sad in the watching. We couldn’t afford a huge wedding ceremony or reception, so it was pretty simple. Just a quick exchange of vows in the base chapel (he was a Marine at the time) and a “reception” at the local buffet. One set of their friends, and my wife’s side of the family were all that could make it. My brother-in-law (Dan) earned a great deal of my respect then because he made sure that his family was there, and the others followed.

 

But the sadness is only a tiny bit. I take solace in the fact that while the wedding was simple a lot of times those are more lasting than the multi-thousand dollar ones. My own wedding was not much fancier, but we’ve been married over 30 years. I’m very happy my daughter and son-in-law are going on 12 years with four beautiful children. The start might’ve been no-frills, plain, and lacking in an ostentatious display of wealth (like mine), but the marriage has been strong and will get stronger. I remember I told them at the beginning, “It’s not the wedding that counts. You will forget a bunch of that over time. It’s the marriage that counts. Commit to God and each other, and all the rest will work itself out.” If I had to depart this physical plane this would contribute to my peace, knowing they are established on a good foundation. Even if it is a simple one.

Book review: The Harbinger

I was pointed to this book by a friend of our Facebook page, Darlene. My wife checked it out of the library and we both went through it pretty quick. She was so interested she finished it in a day.

 

I think it’s a good read. Keeps your interest to the end. I think he stretches a bit to connect things together, and I don’t think we have to go that far to realize that America (and the rest of the world) is in the process of being judged for departing from God’s ways. The point of the book, however, is not to report facts. It is a fiction book in a narrative form (conversations) that is meant to dramatically use facts to present a repentance message. And it does a great job.

 

As most readers of this blog know, I am all for repentance messages. We’re sliding down a greased pole into hell right now, and Jonathan Cahn is one other who is trying to arrest that slide as best he can. He’s not trying to be a prophet, though he uses some prophetic terms and imagery, so we can’t accuse him of error. The facts are historically accurate, so we can’t accuse him of making stuff up. His message is good, and the vehicle for delivery entertaining and thought provoking. It’s also a best seller, meaning he’s earning a good living which I don’t object to one bit, but also meaning he’s reaching a lot of people. That’s also a good thing.

 

For those who want to stick their heads in the sand because the realization of judgment scares them, you might want to avoid this book. But for those who have a suspicion that events now unfolding are warnings to change our course, this book will be right in the alley somewhere. We need to be careful how we match current events with Scripture, but I think Mr. Cahn is careful. His bottom line is the same as mine: wake up and repent before it is too late. If you need some help warning other people too, this book might be a good boost.

 

The only thing I would add to the book is specifics on what to turn to. I, of course, would say that we need to take up all of the Word. Practice every little scrap you can work into your life, including as many details of the Law as we can apply. Start with a day off a week (Sabbath). Eliminate pork and shellfish as our loving Father so graciously warned. Work in the feasts and festivals. Tie some tassels on your garments to help remind you to choose His Ways over your own knowledge. This means we take every word from His mouth seriously. From the easier things (above) we can then maybe take seriously the weightier commands of justice and mercy. Maybe if we go back to taking the whole Book seriously we can turn the tide of the coming judgment.

 

Shalom
Bruce

I Don’t Know

It’s okay to say “I don’t know,” especially when talking about the Bible or answering someone’s objections.

 

I don’t know for sure who the people before the flood (antediluvians) married. I assume brothers married sisters for at least a while, but I don’t know. Later, it appears this was not something to continue because God tells us to stop.

 

I don’t know who the “sons of God” were that took daughters from the “sons of men” in Genesis 6:1-4. I know that it wasn’t good. It seems to be connected to the wickedness of man being great on the earth (Genesis 6:5). But I don’t know for sure.

 

I don’t know for sure, but I’ve got a good idea that people in the Land before Israel moved in needed to be wiped out. They were asking for it. Every abomination conceivable at the time was in practice in Canaan. Children were routinely sacrificed. Sexual perversion was out of control. Leaders were defiant towards God and God’s ways. Their own actions caused the wiping. There were no innocents. The only option was to be removed from breathing for a while.

 

“Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people. So keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, and never to make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 18:24–30, ESV)

 

I know. It sounds like today, doesn’t it? I certainly want to spew when I see actions from people like Miley Cyrus or other so-called entertainers. I don’t know why people are repeating the same abominations that caused the destruction of the antediluvians or the Canaanites, or that will cause the destruction of what we see very soon. But I know it’s going to happen. We’re asking for it.

 

Maybe my understanding needs a little help. Maybe the text is not translated correctly. Maybe I just need to keep reading and keep pondering. Or maybe there are more things from His Word I need to be doing in my life, and as I add those my understanding will increase and I’ll figure it out. I don’t know.

 

That’s okay though. It doesn’t affect anything, because I know that God is good and merciful and whatever He had to do was needed and the only option. Whatever He does with the current Canaanites and pagans will be in the same vein. He created; He can do what He wants with His creation. In the meantime my understanding is good enough to know what He requires of me. Do what He says. All the other stuff will become clear. What he wants from me is very clear. I may not know about some of the things in the Word, but I know this: He is love and will always act in accordance with love. Even His judgment is from love.

 

If I don’t know something, it doesn’t detract from who He is, or what He wants. When we get in the middle of talking with people it’s no shame to say, “I don’t know.” I don’t know about a specific thing that happened 6,000 years ago, but I know what He wants from me. And I know what He wants from you. Do what He says. Avoid abominations. Abide in His Word. Repent. Turn from our own ways to His.

 

That part I know is very clear.

Shalom

The Hardest Thing

What do you think the hardest thing to do is for a whole Bible believer?

 

One answer might be to face death, especially a death where the option to escape is to deny the One who bought us. What would I do? A simple lie to save myself, my family? Or perhaps the hardest thing to do is to face the impending death or severe sickness of a loved one. It is very hard to watch someone suffer, and to know that healing might be beyond what you can do. Another answer might be to live under severe persecution such as the brothers and sisters have to do in China or Muslim countries. These things are hard, but they tend to be short-term situations. One thing I think ranks right up there with these other hard things.

 

Living all of His words every minute, every day.

 

It’s easy to get bored, or to think that some small command is not worth the effort. Then it’s easy to go from neglecting a few smaller commands to fudging on a medium command. Steps like these gradually can make obedience to the really big commands a little fuzzy. The decisions made in life or death events don’t just spring up all at once when the big event happens. They are made from all the smaller steps taken, or not taken, before we even get there.

 

To be faithful, in every instance, with all of the heart, can be very difficult. More difficult perhaps than the single event that demands a life or death decision. There are all sorts of daily things we do that become mundane and lose their importance as time goes by. We get fat dumb and happy, and next thing you know we are making all sorts of compromises.

 

The fall holy days we are celebrating now can lose their edge, or they can be times of repentance and renewal. God is calling us to stay faithful, and if we haven’t been as faithful as we should we can still change. Hold fast what you have until He comes (Revelation 2:25). Strengthen what remains and is about to die (Revelation 3:2).

 

Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (Revelation 3:3, ESV)

 

“Faithful” is also “steadfast love” or “patient endurance.” Don’t let the small things get away. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind when you feel yourself slipping. Read His Word daily, in large doses. Use the feast times to rededicate yourself and avoid slipping. Remember that “faithfulness” is used of God first (Genesis 24:27) and is used mostly in the Bible to describe Him. He is faithful to us who believe, and that deserves a faithful response. We can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

 

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. (Revelation 3:10–11, ESV)

 

Shalom
Bruce

God Approaches

It’s morning, Yom Kippur, otherwise known as the Day of Atonement. I wake up thinking about the approach of God. He comes in clouds and thick darkness with lightning and flame of fire to judge the earth. I get up to meet Him.

I shower, but I still don’t think I’m clean enough. My clothes are some of my best, but they are not adequate to cover me. I am naked beneath His searching gaze. The earth shakes; the sky reels. Is this what they call a vision, or have I been transported to a mountain? The very air is heavy with the edge of His holiness and white with the light of His glory. I seem to see a flaming sword in one hand and stars in the other as He approaches from on high. I am terrified. I fall to my knees in supplication hoping that His judgment passes over me. As he comes closer my strength fails and I fall prostrate and blind before the majesty and might of my creator.

His voice is like a shout, like the blast of a thousand trumpets. A mighty noise, and then sudden quiet. There is a touch on my shoulder. Strength flows from that light contact. Still fearful, I open my eyes to see the dirt, and without moving look to the sides to see if I can see who touched me. The touch on my shoulder again. More strength flows in. A regular voice says, “Be not afraid. Rise and speak.” He uses a name for me that I recognize but have not heard before. I get to my feet to see a man standing. He is a little shorter than I, brown skinned and barefoot dressed in a white robe.

His darker skin is the canvas for the white scars on his forehead, light brush strokes on a smooth brow. He looks young, but his eyes are very still and I sense ancient depths. He holds up a hand in peace. His sleeve falls a little and I can clearly see a scar in his wrist.

“My lord and my God,” I say. “You sent for me?”

“I sent an invitation to everyone to meet me on this Day” He says. “I am glad you accepted.”

“But when,” I ask, “did you invite me here?”

He replies, “The invitation was in the book I gave you. You read it and agreed to meet with me here. Walk with me now, and let us talk.”

“As you wish,” I say. He speaks a word that makes me blink, and when I open my eyes I am at my house. But I can still hear Him talking.

“I am with you always,” He says, “though you may not be able to see me the same way all the time. We are together, you in me and I in you. Each word of mine that you take to heart will make your vision clearer, your hearing sharper. Soon you will see me in all my glory. Tell me what is on your mind. Share with me your fears and sorrows. Speak of your concerns for your family, your friends, your country. Let me hear what moves you. Let us walk together like this always whether I am seen or unseen.”

“Your will is my will,” I answer.

“It is enough,” He says.

Day of Wrath

Saturday is the Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur. On this day, and this day only, when we had a temple the high priest would go into the holy of holies and apply the blood of the sacrifice to the mercy seat of the Aron Khodesh, also known as the Ark of the Covenant. He had to do it in a very specific way, with no deviation, or he would die. There was a time far back in history when the high priest had to go in with a rope tied around his ankle for fear he wouldn’t do things right and would die. If he did then others could drag him out without going in themselves and risking the same death.

 

The Day of Atonement was a day associated with wrath, smoke and burning. There are two facets to the smoke and burning. Either there was a sufficient sacrifice for sin, or there wasn’t. One type of smoke and burning was from the acceptable sacrifice, and God’s wrath was turned away. The other facet of smoke and burning was the wrath of God directed at people who did not have an acceptable sacrifice.

 

The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. (Zephaniah 1:14–17, ESV)

 

Before the death and resurrection of Jesus the Yom Kippur sacrifice looked forward to the offering of His own blood on our behalf. Now we remember that work in humility, but we still look forward to that final day of judgment and fast and pray for those who aren’t prepared. Those of us who believe have accepted His sacrifice and God’s wrath on this day is turned away. Those who haven’t accepted Jesus are risking the burning anger of God. This is why we “afflict ourselves” (fast) as it says in Leviticus 16:29 and other places. We bow our heads in humility remembering the sacrifice, and the cost of that sacrifice for our sins. We also fast and pray for repentance that everyone would likewise accept God’s Word and humble themselves.

 

Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation, before the decree takes effect —before the day passes away like chaff— before there comes upon you the burning anger of the LORD, before there comes upon you the day of the anger of the LORD. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD. (Zephaniah 2:1–3, ESV)

 

Some misguided people make a big deal out of exactly which day to have the holy days of the Lord. There is no procedure outlined for us in the Word, but there are people who want to help God out by splitting hairs about the new moon (which indicates the start of the month). They are missing the point about the whole thing. Majoring in the minors. Forsaking unity and brotherhood to push their “holier than thou” agenda. This kind of quibbling is proof that the Word does not dwell in their hearts, because love dwells with the Law and love is not in these arguments. I’ve seen many who not only quibble about this kind of minor detail but other non-biblical issues such as head coverings while at the same time ignoring more salient and weightier issues such as love and honoring others. It’s not just me, either. Watch them yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

 

Remember the Law in its entirety with love and the Spirit in a heart of flesh. Don’t get caught up in quibbling with the quibblers. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the seven churches. Repent. Love God. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.

 

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:1–6, ESV)

Day of the Awakening Blast

Coming up next week on Thursday the 5th is a day of blowing otherwise known as the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah (day of the awakening blast). Oh boy. Wednesday night as a family tradition we will be having gyros with tzatziki (zot zee kee) sauce. It’s worth eating the gyros (year-ohs, a mixture of lamb and beef with nifty spices) just to eat my wife’s tzatziki sauce (yogurt, garlic, cucumber mostly). I like to chop it up, others like to make sandwiches out of pita bread, onions and tomatoes.

 

We will be blowing shofars a lot. If you don’t already know, shofar is Hebrew for trumpet. Traditionally it is a curved animal horn (goat or ram’s horn for smaller ones, big ones are from the African Kudu), although some Bible trumpets were made out of silver. We’ll probably also have a fire in our fire ring and make s’mores or something. Or maybe we’ll skip the s’mores to avoid going into sugar shock. My wife likes to call this the “Feast of Sugar.”

 

We like the three fold principal involved in celebrating the feasts of God centered around the word “remember.” Remember in the biblical sense often means to speak or act on behalf of something or someone. That’s why we can not only remember the past (what God has done for His people) and remember the present (practice as a testimony), we can even remember the future (rehearse what God is going to do for His people).

 

Trumpets has themes associated with it including the coronation of the King, waking up from the sleep of sin, marriage (for us it’s associated with the marriage supper of the Lamb), concealment (on the day of wrath), and warning to repent before the day of Judgment/Wrath also known as Yom Kippur or day of atonement.

 

There are some articles on www.wholebible.com including Christian Faith and Practice through Cycles http://www.wholebible.com/Biblical_Feasts.htm and Christian Faith and Practice through Yom Teruah http://www.wholebible.com/trumpets.htm for more information. The Yom Teruah article has a flash video at the bottom where you can hear us sounding the shofar.

 

Shalom
Bruce

Judging with Righteous Judgement Pt. 5 – How To Spot a False Prophet

It’s very simple to spot a false prophet. The Bible gives us excellent instructions. All we’ve got to do is read and we’ll figure it out in an instant. Not only must he be 100% correct if he prophesies about the future, he must not direct other people away from God or God’s Word.
“But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.” Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets: “Behold, I will feed them with bitter food and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has gone out into all the land.” (Jeremiah 23:14–15, ESV)
Jeremiah is not just speaking of prophets of a particular location, but to all those who do the same things.

 

A false prophet talks about following the Bible but doesn’t follow the whole book. He is a part-Bible expert, like his father, the father of lies. He picks and chooses what Scripture he preaches, and is even pickier about which Scripture he follows. He wants people to follow himself rather than God.
“To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.” (Isaiah 8:20, ESV)
“Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32, ESV)

 

The false prophet takes the Law into his own hands to misuse it for his own gain. He allows and encourages sexual immorality including divorce and homosexuality (the teachings of Balaam). He is more concerned about self-defined acceptance, tolerance, and unconditional love than God’s definition of holy love and grace or His command to repent.

 

A true prophet will speak according to the entirety of God’s Word. One of the ways we know Jesus was a true prophet, and The Prophet whom Moses said would come, is that He spoke the words of God given to Moses. All other prophets of God do the same. A simple test is, do they follow all of God’s Law or not?
“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18–19, ESV)

 

A false prophet glorifies himself rather than God. God is glorified when His Word is taught, lived, and defended.
“The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. (John 7:18, ESV)”
The minister sent by God is one who speaks all of God’s words without fail and without compromise.

 

A false prophet speaks visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. He says “all will be well” and “no disasters will befall” those who despise the word of the Lord and follow their own heart instead of God’s heart.
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. They say continually to those who despise the word of the LORD, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’ ” (Jeremiah 23:16–17, ESV)

 

A true prophet of God will warn of departure from God’s word. He will speak the words of God, the first one of which is REPENT.
“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.” (Jeremiah 23:21–22, ESV)

 

A false prophet tells people to go after other gods, either in the form of idols or self-image. Going after other god’s means to obey something or someone other than God. God tests us with many false prophets, and there are many today teaching that we don’t have to listen to all of the words of God. The true prophet says that we shall keep God’s commandments and obey His voice, serve Him and hold fast to Him.
“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. 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. (Deuteronomy 13:1–4, ESV)

 

Do not fail the test.
Shalom