In Deuteronomy chapter 13, Moses was preparing the Jews to enter the promised land. He warned them of false prophets. He said false prophets could also perform what are seemingly miracles. Moses was saying that just because someone was able to perform a miracle this does not mean he is of God. Modern day prophets claim they can cause illness to people using spiritual means. They go on to claim that they can even cause death to their spiritual enemies and so they quote Exodus 22:18 which says, Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, as their justification for their wicked deed. If someone is in the business of killing his enemies it is sheer disrespect for God to claim divine approval for such ungodly deeds. Both the Spirit of the Old Testament and the New Testament encourages believers to love their enemies. It is true that in Old Testament we find God commanding his people to destroy certain wicked people. But it was God who decided how wicked a person has to become before he can be destroyed. Furthermore in the Old Testament the church was in its embryo God had to protect the foetus church by commanding the destruction of witches and false prophets and other wicked individuals. But this drastic measure was not be executed willy nilly. Great efforts should have been taken to direct the person to God in the hope that he would repent and abandon his wicked life.
Usually false prophets lead people into idolatry. People begin to worship false gods who are not the true God. These gods are animated by satan and his demons. In Deuteronomy 13 Moses says false prophets must be killed. In fact it was the commandment of God in the Old Testament. False prophets were not allowed to live, just as witches were not allowed to live. Moses went on to say even if the one who tries to lead you astray, the one who tries to make you worship false gods, even if this person is a close relative, he must surely die, and the nearest of kin should cast the first stone.
God commanded this so that the sin of idolatry would not spread. When others find out the one who led people astray to worship false gods was stoned to death, they would desist from committing the same sin. People of God must be holy for their God is holy. Every sin must be judged. In the New Testament false prophets are no longer stoned to death but the Bible tells us that we must not listen to false prophets. We must reject their teachings. We must not worship false gods. The trouble is there is great confusion these days, because false gods are worshipped in the name of the true God! That is how sophisticated satan has become! False worship is done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! The devil does not mind them using Christian vocabulary as long as they worship false gods under the guise of worshipping the true God. They are into full blown idolatry yet many unsuspecting Christians are gullible enough to think that these people worship the true God. Many do not see that they are into occultism.
People of God must not follow those who mislead them. Let false prophets perform their miracles but we must not follow them. Just because someone has performed a miracle does not not mean that God is smiling approvingly at him. If anyone preach another gospel let him be accursed. Let us not go after people who lead us astray. We do not have to follow men, we should follow God. It is folly to boast that you are a son of a prophet rather it is better to boast that you are a child of God. Christians should seek after the truth and nothing but the truth. May God strengthen us and give us wisdom to discern falsehood from the truth. May God keep us that we may not be misled by false prophets.
God can use dreams to speak to people like he did to Abimelech, Genesis 20:3-7. Abimelech had taken Sarah into his harem with evil intentions. God spoke to Abimelech in a dream and told him that Sarah was in fact Abraham's wife. The dream revealed to Abimelech the truth of the matter. But Abimelech was a pagan. So God can reveal truth in a dream to an unbeliever. Just because someone has dreamt the reality of things does not make that person righteous.
False prophets can even do wonders but their signs cannot prevail against the signs that God performs through His people. When the staff of Moses turned into a snake, the magicians of Egypt had their staffs turned into snakes. But the snake from Moses' staff swallowed all the other snakes. (Exodus 7:10-12).
The so-called miracle workers if they lead us into idolatry we must not follow them. In the Old Testament false prophets were stoned to death. In the New Testament church we do not stone them to death but we cut fellowship with them. God allows these false prophets to perform 'miracles' in order to test our faith. Are we going to abandon our faith in God and put our trust in these false prophets?
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned of false prophets who deceive many faithfuls. You can be deceived by your best friend. Usually friends do not come up in the open in their attempts to deceive people. But what they do is the same as false prophets do. If God has given you the grace to discern the deception in your friend you must treat him just as you would treat a false prophet. This is where our Lord has said I have not come to bring peace but I have come to bring division between a husband and wife. Our Lord says you cannot be a true disciple of Christ if you do not hate your wife. If your wife is seeking to deceive you, you must hate her for that. You do not have to hate her for everything she does, but you must hate her for her deception, Luke 14:26. This language of hatred that the Lord uses is very strong and we must take great care to understand what He is really talking about. He is not talking about completely rejecting your spouse but denying her close fellowship in as far as she tries to deceive you. In the Old Testament if the wife tried to lead her husband astray she was to be stoned to death and the husband was to cast the first stone, to show that he was really against her wrong teaching.
Sometimes a city was said to be a city that misleads people. Most of the people who live in such a city would be vain people. Most of them would be sons of Belial. A city that misleads people is a city that is full of pagans. Such was the city of Jericho. God had to destroy this city. People, animals and buildings were all destroyed. The city was destroyed completely just like a burnt offering. Most of the people in such a city would be corrupt and it only becomes of God to completely destroy the city. But in Jericho, Rachab and her family survived the destruction. God will always find a way of preserving the faithfuls. Rachab feared the God of Israel and I would like to believe that her family was of the same mind. So God spared them when He destroyed Jericho.
The only way for us to blessed by God is by obeying His commandments. Falsehood spreads like wild fire. It may start with one person but soon it spreads to many people, without knowing it the whole city will be affected. Sons of Belial are fitted for destruction. Achan stole from a city that was meant for destruction and he and his family were destroyed. At one time God wanted to destroy the whole nation of Israel because it was full of idolatry but Moses prayed for them and God spared the nation.
So my friend, I am saying to you, do not allow anyone to mislead you or you would be destroyed. To attract God's blessings stay out of idolatry and do not allow anyone lead you to worship false gods. We must be wary of the modern day prophets and we must jealously guard the true Gospel that was faithfully handed down to us by the apostles.