The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Deuteronomy 13

Deu 13:1

Vv 1-3: "In the book of Deuteronomy it was laid down what the attitude of the people of Israel should be to those who claimed to speak with the authority of God's Holy Spirit.

"First, does the prophet utter prophecies which are proved to be true by their fulfilment? 'If the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously', ie, without God's authority (Deu 18:22). But there was always the possibility that the 'prophet' might succeed, by means of a bit of clever guesswork, in deceiving his hearers. So then a further test: 'If a prophet arises among you... and the sign or wonder which he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods'... you shall not listen to the words of that prophet' (Deu 13:1,2).

"In other words, a prophecy or a sign or a wonder does not guarantee that the Holy Spirit is at work. The final and certain test is whether the teaching is good and true and right" (WGHS). See Lesson, Holy Spirit gifts, available today?

Deu 13:4

Note 6-fold progression: follow, revere, keep, obey, serve, hold fast...

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