• William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 3, 2021

Daily Reading: Deuteronomy 11-13

Deuteronomy 13:1

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

"Why does God allow false preachers and teachers to preach and teach?" Probably every pastor has been asked that question, in one form or another. It's a good question. It's a question that has a simple answer. We find that answer in today's reading. To get the full picture, though, pay special attention to Chapter 13:1-4.

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 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; 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. 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.

God told Israel that if prophet or dreamer predicts a sign or wonder and with that prediction tells them that it is a proof they should follow another god if that sign comes to pass, God is allowing it for a purpose. That purpose is to prove whether or not they will continue to follow the true God or the false god. So, a person is walking down a dusty path with one who proclaims to be a prophet, and he is attempting to sway you from following the old-fashioned God to begin following a new god. He may say something like this "Up ahead there is a mud puddle, if by time we get to that mud puddle it is dried up, I mean the ground is bone dry, then the new god I'm telling you about is the one you should be following." Then, sure enough, by time the two of you reach the mud puddle it is dry, as dry as west Texas in July. What would you do? After all this is an amazing miracle, astounding really, you actually saw it with your own eyes. There must be something to the power of this new god, right! Why would God allow that? To prove you.

The same is taught in the New Testament, in a fashion. 1 Corinthians 11:19 states: For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. All false teaching is allowed by God for a purpose to make known those who are approved of Him among us. In the heresy being propagated there is an unspoken action which is, will a person believe the heresy, or will they stick to the truth? Think about it. One religious leader says this, another says that, that which they preach or teach opposes the other. They cannot both be true, they can both be wrong, or one can be wrong and the other right, but they cannot both be right. Not if what they say is contradictory. Also, by the way, God does not have one truth for one group of people and another truth for a different group. How, then do we know truth? The Scriptures. Study the Scriptures, read them, discuss them, pray about them, search it out. Then when someone preaches or teaches true doctrine they will be shown to be approved.

Throughout the Bible, God proves His people. Also, He invites His people to prove Him (Malachi 3:10). The question is not why does God allow false prophets, but rather will we be deceived by them?

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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