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Summary: Many claim to offer truth. The ability to recognize error is easier than you might think and is essential to your Christian witness.

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THE DIFFERENCE—Deuteronomy 13:1-5

Not of no consequence but powerfully delusive.

A large company offers to fly Bob out to a meeting business class.

During the return flight they were given gourmet brownies and cookies. Not hungry, Bob decides to save them for later, so he places them in an air sickness bag.

After the plane landed bob gets up to leave and a stewardess approaches him. She asks, "Sir, would you like for me to dispose of that for you?"

Bob says, "No thanks, I’m saving it for my kids."

The truth can sometimes be elusive BUT we can know the difference.

Need:

David Blain—Street magic

John Edward—Psychic—hears the dead— “Crossing Over”

Chloe—Tarot readings

Oprah—Prophetess of human spirit.

Are they real?...

There is a qualified difference in proclaimers of truth.

Moses made Israel responsible for recognizing & removing false messengers.

Israel was responsible for the recognition & removal of false messengers.

God’s people are responsible for the recognition & removal of false messengers.

How are God’s people to recognize & remove/influence false messengers?

4 keys for recognition & removal/influence of false messengers.

1—The key to truth is the Difference in

PROPHETS & DREAMERS(:1-2)

:1—“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,

“Prophet”—Public proclaimer of past/present/future events.

“Dreamer”—Visions—Recipient of information outside common human experience.

“Dreams”—mysterious means of revelations.

Prophet of God—Proclaimer of God’s truth.

Dreamer of God—Joseph—Gen. 37:2-11; 40:1-23; 41:1-9, 14, 25-37

Cornelius—Acts 10:1-8—Send for Simon Peter

Peter—Acts 10:9-20—Sheet, 28—Meets Cornelius, 34-35—Every nation welcome

“Arises among you”—Gains a hearing/authority/notoriety or becomes established/powerful among God’s holy people.

“Gives you a sign or wonder”—Presents a genuinly miraculous occurrance proving/testifying to/ a supernatural gift/talent/ability.

:2—“and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’”

“Go after”—Walk behind looking to the “other gods” as leader.

“Whom you have not known”—

“Serve”—Work or labor for; Subject to.

John Edward—Without ‘specifically’ saying so, he calls us to other gods.

2—The key to truth is the Difference in

SIGNS & WONDERS(:1-2)

:1—“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,

:2—“and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’”

“Sign”—Distinguishing mark, Signal

?What is Distinguished...What is Signaled?

“Wonder”—tpwm—Special display of power.

?What is ‘Wonderous’ & What Power is displayed?

Mat. 24:23-24—of Future Great Tribulation—“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”

1Jn. 4:1-6—“1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

*?Do Signs & Wonders cause you to Doubt Christ?

?You Testing the spirits or Deceived by them?

3—The key to truth is the Difference in

HEARTS(:3-4)

:3—“you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

“Testing you”—Js. 1:13-15—“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”

“Love”—Appetite for; Desire for.

“Heart”— “mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory; inclination, resolution, determination (of will); conscience; heart (of moral character) as seat of appetites; as seat of emotions and passions.’

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