False Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order, if possible, to lead the elect astray (Mark 13:22).
You can identify a false prophet by the fact that not all his prophecies come true. Deuteronomy 18:22 instructs us not to believe the prophet whose prophecies fail. But Deuteronomy 13:1-3 also warns us about the false prophet whose signs and wonders do come true: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or 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,’ 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.” (See also Matthew 24:4-11, 23-25; Revelation 13:11-14).
Many Christians have become conditioned to think that anything relating to the miraculous automatically verifies that God is involved. God can still use signs and wonders to confirm the Word, but the Bible also warns that false Christs and prophets will arise seeking to lead believers astray with their “signs and wonders.” Satan can also perform signs and wonders, but he only does so to direct our worship away from God to himself.
Deuteronomy 13:5-11 reveals the seriousness of attributing to God the activity of Satan. Persons who were involved in it were to be executed even if they were relatives. We are to love God, obey His Word, and test all signs, wonders and dreams.
Isaiah wrote, “When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the wizards who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (8:19,20).
Lord, I affirm my commitment to know Your Word and be led by Your Spirit. I ask for discernment and wisdom to test all things.
By Neil Anderson