Awesome Hands – Part 146: “And the sign or wonder come to pass”

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Awesome Hands – Part 146

“And the sign or wonder come to pass”

January 4, 2019

It is a common concept throughout Deuteronomy, and much of the scripture, that we are to keep the commandments of the Lord.

We ended the last chapter with this concept as it pertains to serving other gods, and this same theme will be what continues throughout chapter 13.

Deu 12:29  When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
Deu 12:30  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Deu 12:31  Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
Deu 12:32  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

In our study today, we are going to learn more about serving the Lord in the capacity which He demands and not serving in a capacity that permits us to do whatever we do and then call it worship.

We are going to cover the whole chapter, but it only contains 18 verses, so it should go quickly.

The first scenario we find ourselves reviewing is what we do when we are confronted with a prophet whom we know has dreamed a dream or tells us of a sign that comes to pass, but tells us to serve others gods.

Deu 13:1  If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2  And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
Deu 13:3  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

I know these verses are familiar enough that you will have heard them discussed before. However, I want to mention a few points that I also used in my previous study.

“(ESV)  take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.”

If the Lord looked on these nations and their god worship, and then destroyed them for it, why would He treat us any differently? In fact, because we are His people and have been told His commandments, we will be held to a higher bar.

Luk 12:46  The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
Luk 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

The thing that should be screaming out to us all is how it is we can worship idols. Idols aren’t ONLY going to be something that we shape with our hands and place on a mantel to worship.

Far more insidious are those idols of the heart which we worship in ourselves and in OTHERS.

Notice, we are told several times in this chapter about idol worship and also about “eating meat”.

Where else are we told about “eating an idol”? This is the ESV translation.

1Co 10:26  For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”
1Co 10:27  If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.
1Co 10:28  But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—
1Co 10:29  I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?
1Co 10:30  If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
1Co 10:31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

This being offered to idols is not something that I have ever heard someone say. I would be a bit surprised to ever hear this come from anyone alive today.

However, when we know idols are of the heart, then we can know what we are being told spiritually.

Eze 14:2  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 14:3  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

(BBE) “Son of man, these men have taken their false gods into their hearts and put before their faces the sin which is the cause of their fall: am I to give ear when they come to me for directions?”

These were notes taken from my previous study to show that we are not only concerned with “gods out there” somewhere. We are concerned with worshipping ourselves and others.

Instead, we need to hearken unto the message of Deut 13:4.

Deu 13:4  Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

What is very trying to us as humans is that the Lord has placed us into lives which cause us to seek out companions in this thing we call life. When seeking out companions, whether they be family, friends or loved ones, we tend to develop relationships with deep roots. This isn’t always the case with everyone of course, but we generally want to be around other humans with whom we are compatible.

Because this is something that comes naturally to us, we need to be careful of attaching ourselves so closely to someone that we do not obey the Lord in our lives because of the influence of those around us.

From our study today, a prophet would be someone we know and respect as being someone with some sort of history of dealing with the Lord. We know that spiritually speaking, prophecy itself is the testimony of Jesus Christ in one capacity or another.

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Knowing what the spirit of prophecy is, we can now look at Deuteronomy in the spirit in which it was written for those for whom it was prepared.

We are told to cleave unto the Lord for a reason in Deut 13:4, and then we are told how to handle those that prophesy BUT also tell us to serve “other gods”. Again, stop thinking in only absolute terms of “gods out there somewhere” or a pagan god such as Zeus or Ra.

Listen closely to the decree of the One True God.

Deu 13:5  And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath 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 thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

When we know someone has the spirit of prophecy, but then we hear “their voice” and not the voice of the True Shepherd, a voice which tells us to turn away from the LORD our God, then we need to put that prophet to death.

For us today, we know that the sum of the Word is truth. Therefore, we are not talking about physically killing people.

However, we are talking about another type of death. This verdict and execution of death is to happen a certain way.

Deu 13:6  If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
Deu 13:7  Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
Deu 13:8  Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
Deu 13:9  But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
Deu 13:10  And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

“Thou shalt surely kill him …..thine hand shall be first upon him…..thou shall stone him with stones.”

This doesn’t sound like the Lord wants us to play games with this person, or try to win them over to the Lord, or try to do anything other than put them to death. Again, we are not talking about physical death even though this was certainly the severity of what the Lord meant in the old testament.

Look at the category of people of whom we are talking about not to be playing around – “Prophets, dreamers of dreams, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, wives and friends” are all to be put to death when they entice us to SERVE OTHER GODS.

It sounds like the Lord takes this seriously, and it also appears that the Lord knows these temptations will potentially come from many different avenues in our lives. We must be on guard against serving other gods. Because the situation is so serious, and the consequences are so severe, the Lord does want us to diligently inquire of the exact situation and details of everything that is happening.

After all, physical death is very final in its judgment.

Deu 13:11  And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
Deu 13:12  If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
Deu 13:13  Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
Deu 13:14  Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
Deu 13:15  Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

Now we see that stones and the sword are the two instruments of death used to kill those that would bring the wickedness of serving of other gods into our midst. Yet, while these two tools are used to slay the tempters, the spoil of the war and of the cities we have overthrown are to be purged with fire.

Deu 13:16  And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
Deu 13:17  And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;

It should be plain to see that the Lord is very serious about His people serving other gods.

However, along with this serious stance, the Lord has also given us weapons (and clues) on how to make sure we are ourselves stay in the good graces of the Lord.

I obviously pointed out fire, the sword and stones as instruments used to execute the judgment of the Lord. All of these spiritual words should tell us a little bit about the spiritual message contained in Deuteronomy 13.

I will list a few familiar verses to rekindle your memories.

Deu 5:1  And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.
Deu 5:2  The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
Deu 5:3  The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
Deu 5:4  The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,
Deu 5:5  (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,

Fire is feared by those who are not able to dwell in fire.

Isa 5:24  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

If we obey the Lord, we will have no fear of His fire.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Though we do initially fear the fire, once we are put into it and cleansed by it, we can come out the other side able to handle dwelling in it. We are speaking about the fire of the Word of God.

2Pe 3:7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The stone with which we stone others is, of course, Jesus Christ also.

Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

1Pe 2:3  If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
1Pe 2:4  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
1Pe 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

We know the sword represents the sword of the word of God.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Indeed, those same prophets and dreamers of dreams who take up the sword will be die by the same. The truth is that those that dwell comfortably in the fire are those that have been consumed by the Fire.

What is really apparent in this chapter 13 of Deuteronomy is that the Lord does not want us being drawn away to serve other gods, but again this will not come in the form of serving Zeus for the majority of Christians.

It will come in the form of hearkening to the WORDS of OTHERS. Words are powerful i.e. see the Word of God to know how powerful words can be. Jesus Christ is the most powerful “word” every spoken.

However, there are always lessor “gods” or lessor “words” that desire to sit on the throne of God.

These lessor gods/words are those whom would drawn us away with their own ideas, thoughts and passions about what and who the Lord is and would have us do, VERSUS what we have learned to be the One True God and His doctrine.

The chapter, like many others, ends where it started.

Deu 13:3  Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4  Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Deu 13:18  When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

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