Crystal Writes A Blog

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There Will Be A Test

Exams Start Now by Flickr User Ryan M aka shinealight, CC License = Attribution, Share Alike

Exams Start Now by Flickr User Ryan M aka shinealight, CC License = Attribution, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

What if every moment of our lives was actually a test? When stuff just doesn’t seem to go our way, we often think, “Hmm; maybe I’m being tested,” and when we think we’re being tested, we try harder to pass. But what if the good times are also part of the test? When everything is at peace and going smoothly, it can be too easy to forget Who brought us that peace and comfort, let alone to think it might be part of our testing and refining.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 12:29 through all of Deuteronomy 13, we will read about the not-so-surprise tests given by our Greatest Teacher. We start out with a warning to Israel. Moses tells them to be careful after God destroys the nations He is driving out of The Promised Land and not to question how they served their gods and seek them out. He tells Israel not to do that to The Lord, Yahveh, because the things the former inhabitants did for their gods including burning up their own children.

Moses then tells them not to add or subtract anything from the laws he is passing along to them. And then he tells them that even if a prophet has a dream or vision of a sign or wonder, and that sign or wonder comes to pass, if with it the prophet tries to entice the people to follow after a god that is not Yahveh, it is a test from Yahveh to see if they really love Him. They are to kill that prophet or dreamer used in the test because he urged them to turn away from the God who delivered them from Egypt and slavery and turn instead to a false god.

Next, Moses says that even if someone’s own flesh and blood brother, his child, his loving wife, or his best friend tries to convince him to follow another god, do not listen. Beyond that, he should not even feel pity for that person. No matter how close the two are, the one who is being enticed is not to spare or even conceal the one trying to entice him. He must not only kill him, but his own hand must be first in making a strike of death against him. God’s reasoning for these rulings includes that when the rest of Israel sees the person die for trying to entice someone away from Him, all Israel will fear God and avoid such wickedness.

The warnings continue. Moses tells them that if they hear of a city among them where deceivers spring up to draw people away from Yahveh Almighty and toward serving other gods, they should investigate. If the rumors prove true, they must put the inhabitants of that city to death by the sword. They are even to destroy all the livestock. When all are dead, Israel must toss all the dead and the spoils into heaps and then set them on fire. They are to burn every remnant of the city to the ground. Once burned, the city must remain a heap of ruins forever and never be rebuilt. The law-abiding Israelites will not bear any curse or guilt for taking out the city, and they will be fine as long as they obey God and do what is right in His eyes.

All those warnings are pretty dire. I read the part about not having any pity even to the point of not concealing a wrongdoing, and I knew it was talking to people like me. I will stand firm in my own behaviors, but if someone goes another way, I’ll usually just keep my mouth shut for fear of offending that person. But this is saying that any person who tries to turn you against the Almighty God who delivered you from sin should be destroyed without pity. Yikes! I mean, I know we have the law of our land to contend with now, so I don’t have to take anyone out, but it does mean I need to get over my fear of even offending those types of people by correcting them.

So what do true believers do these days with all the false and apostate witnesses spreading through our lands? I wrote just a brief overview of my battle with other believers over the whole Todd Bentley thing, but there was so much more to it. I did not start out seeking to find any fault with the man. I asked God if I should seek his ministry for a healing to avoid surgery, and it was through that request that God showed me the apostate spirit spreading rapidly through the church with Todd Bentley greatly fanning the flames. An adulterous and sinful generation seeks after a sign (or signs and wonders), but people who follow God in honesty and purity of heart will have signs follow them without trying to manufacture them. And when the signs do follow them, they will not worship the signs and wonders, but they will continue to worship Yahveh Almighty and Him alone.

The biggest argument I faced (and sometimes still face) with those who do not discern the apostasies of our times is that they see real miracles. While there are multiple Scriptures warning that false ministers can conjure up real miracles, today’s reading puts it in yet another light. This shows that God Himself may allow the dreams, visions, signs, and wonders to come to pass and show true just to test the children of God. The test is to find out if people love God or just what He can do for Him; if they worship the miracles or the Creator of miracles; or if they are more concerned about what they can give to God or just what they can take from Him.

Even if believers pass those tests, we may still be tested with how we deal with the apostate teachers who try to use the powerful to distract from the All Powerful. Even with proof of Todd Bentley’s pending divorce, other apostates like Rick Joyner and John Arnott are refusing to deal with him in God’s way. Instead, they’re saying, “We do not judge him unworthy of a second, third, or even fourth chance.” But that’s not how you deal with someone who calls the pulpit his own, says that God told him he doesn’t have time to study to show himself approved of God because time is too short, and who kicks people in the face to bring a “move of God” on the congregation. Truth is hard, but it will set us free. The study materials are not easy to get through, but we need to be prepared because–you guessed it–there will be a test.

August 11, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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