Deuteronomy 13

Dealing with apostasy and false prophets
.1 ¶ If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
 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;
.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.
.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.
  1 - A prophet Literally "a "spokesman" or "speaker."
  1 - Dreams The word refers to all types of dreams.
  2 - Sign ... go after other gods The fulfillment of predictions is not evidence of a true prophet. If the message is contrary to the standard of truth the Scriptures is0820, we may know that the prophet is false.
  3 - Proveth you God allows temptation to come. When we are determined to be faithful in spite of appealing promises of the prophet, our faith is strengthened.
  Today angels appearing as a special messengers from God 2co1114 deceive many who do not seek the Lord in earnest prayer and searching of the Scriptures. They may pretend to be the virgin Mary or Jesus Himself mr1322.
  4 - Walk after ... and cleave Good counsel. Let's make our relationship with God one of aggressive holding tight, claiming His promises and delighting in His everlasting love! je2913.
 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.    God which brought you out We may remember who our mighty God is and determine to walk in the way He has commanded.
.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;
 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;
  6 - Brother ... wife People with which you share common genes or those joined by agreement as one flesh ge0224. The choice of a marriage partner is extremely important mi0705, mt1021.
  7 - Gods of the people Today we my interpret this principle to say we are not to choose our religion according to family tradition or popularity. Of course family tradition doesn't necessarily make a religion wrong.
.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:
 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.
 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. 
 11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
  8 - Not consent ... pity ... conceal Decisive action is important to save others from the loss of eternal life.
  9 - Surely kill him This seems like a harsh commandment. Other passages help place it in perspective. As a rule, a person may choose to turn from evil and live ez3311. Those who serve other gods, however, v6, ex2218, have openly committed their lives to them and hence, we assume,  have totally rejected the true God. Having turned their backs their sin is permanent he0604, and the death penalty is deserved. However, since we are no longer under a theocracy where God is king for civil as well as religious life, we have other considerations. Execution of death penalties for serving other gods is deferred ec0811, for God Himself to handle ro1219, re2015.
  10 - Stone See de1705, de2121, de2221, de2224, jos0725.
.12 ¶ If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
.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; 
 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;
 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.
  13 - Serve other gods Notice that those who lead people away from true worship had already been people of belial (foolishness). Those who love the truth are not easily shaken.
.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.
 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; 
.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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