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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Re'eh 47-3


Deuteronomy 12:29 – 13:18 (19 Heb.)

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

Deut. 13:1-4 NIV

What kind of love does the Eternal want?

How is it possible that the Eternal allows a prophet to rise in Israel, make miracles or foretell the future correctly and at the same time incite to idolatry? The Torah gives us an answer: to test the people's hearts to see if there is true love in them.

Why do we seek the Eternal? To experience the supernatural? To experience strong emotions? To know things or events from the future?

If our devotion towards the Eternal is based on the desire to satisfy our curiosity about the supernatural or to experience all kinds of ecstatic feelings or to be able to know things from the future, then we are following the Eternal in the wrong way. This kind of conditional followers will be faithful only when they experience and see what they want. To purify the people from this type of motivation, the Eternal may allow them to be tested with false prophets who offer all these things in the name of other gods.

In this way, those who really belong to the Eternal, who seek Him out of love, in the good and the bad times, when there are miracles and when there aren't, when there are strong emotions and when there are none, when knowing what comes in the future or not, are proved real. True love to the Eternal is unconditional.

We love him because He loved us first, and He called us and we've decided to be faithful when things go well as well as when they go bad.

And even if someone who offers what we would like to have rises, we are not going to follow him just because of those things without testing the depth and the source of their offer. If someone offers you miracles, prophecies and riches don't follow him because of that. Check your heart to see if you are faithful to the One.

This text form the Torah does not refer to Yeshua because his miracles, signs and prophecies weren't aimed at leading the people away from the One, the Father, but to bring them closer to Him. They weren't aimed at creating a new religion either. The ones who used the name of Jesus to create a new religion with miracles, signs and prophecies came much later. Unfortunately, many confuse the one with the others.

Nevertheless, our Rabbi warned that this kind of prophets would rise after him and that many would use his name to make miracles and prophesise without obedient hearts. In Matthew 7:15-23 it's written about these false prophets: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. AWAY FROM ME, YOU EVILDOERS!'" (NIV)

This doesn't mean that performing miracles and prophesising is wrong, on the contrary, it is good. But what the Torah and the Rabbi want to say is that not even these things as good as they are are evidence that a person is a true worshipper, who loves the Eternal and keeps His commandments. What really shows that a person loves the Eternal is his devotion to obedience and faithfulness, especially in those moments in which supernatural and emotional elements are not present.

The last word of this portion of the Torah, translated as "hold fast" is the Hebrew word tidbekun –  תדבקוןwhose root means to stick, to adhere.

Stick to the Eternal and don't allow those charismatic sparks lead you to be disobedient to His commandments. By the fruit you will recognise if a prophet is true or false. If the fruit is obedience to the Torah and love for the One, then it is a good fruit indeed. If the fruit is deception, fraud, divorce, fornication or cult to a man, then don't follow such prophet.

Kol tuv,


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