If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom 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 is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you. – from Deuteronomy 13
Good Morning Father!
Good Morning Jon!
All of Deuteronomy 13 talks about those – prophet, dreamer, family member, or friend – who would entice others to follow ‘gods’ who are not You and commands their being put to death. Jesus advised tearing out an eye or lopping off a hand if it makes you sin. (Matthew 5:28-30) Yikes!
My question is whether I am making too much of Your intention to give us free will. You know I have argued stridently that You are free by Your very nature and that being made in Your image, You grant us freedom that we might also love You freely. These verses about capital punishment in this life for sin always make me wonder if I have understood free will correctly.
Jesus knew that neither a physical eye nor a physical hand was the literal cause of any sin. He wanted to impress upon His listeners the seriousness of sin. He is your Redeemer; a serious solution for a serious problem. As for the dreamer and the prophet, how do you suppose they would deliver signs and wonders to authenticate their false message?
By intentional deception or by demonic activity?
Those are the same thing, and the correct answer. Every word from Me is Truth. The devil is a liar. Whether his deceptions come through a “prophet” or he plants his words directly in your mind, the result is the same. Knowing my Word (commandments) and listening to My voice counter his lies with the Truth, for I put forth nothing but the Truth. Serving Me speaks of the intent of the will. Clinging to Me speaks of the desire of the heart.
As for free will, do you suppose that the deceived is even able to exercise free will? Having free will presupposes the true options are known and are present to choose from. The “prophet” or “dreamer” who presents a lie as the Truth has already circumvented free will. Satan cares not a whit for your free will. I present you with this: I cause all things to work together for good to those who love Me, to those who are called according to My purpose (Romans 8:28). If you seek Me in faith, I Am faithful to give you the good gift of of hearing My voice (Deuteronomy 13:4, Habakkuk 2:2, Luke 11:13, Revelation 1:11). Knowing Truth unlocks the possibility of free will.
Joshua spoke of the true option that is always before you if you know the choice I Am giving you. “… choose you this day whom you will serve …” – Joshua 24:15 Your sharing of this choice with those who do not know the truth is the work of your calling.
Thank You Father! I love You! Strengthen me by Your Spirit to speak only the Truth. Deepen my understanding! Let my heart be purely devoted to You!
You’re welcome! I love you! I Am indeed working in you by My Spirit to accomplish that which you ask.