This week in our review of Isaiah Decoded we’ll continue with chapter 4 - Jacob/Israel, Believers in a Creator-God. This week we’ll examine another obstacle that Jacob needs to overcome to be able to ascend to Zion/Jerusalem. Though not specifically mentioned in chapter 4 by Dr. Gileadi, that obstacle was set out this last week in the Torah portion of Re’eh – to see – Deuteronomy 11-16. What we see at Deuteronomy 13 is Yehovah establishing a test to see if God’s people will remain loyal to Him and His law by allowing a delusion of false prophets - and teachers. Yeshua affirms the presence of false prophets during the Endtimes at Matt 24.
Yeshua Prophesies of Endtime False Prophets
Here is Yeshua’s prophecy of false prophets during the Endtimes in Matthew 24 –
"3 And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the taught ones came to Him separately, saying, “Say to us, when shall this be, and what is the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And יהושע answering, said to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray.
5 “For many shall come in My Name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they shall lead many astray.
11 “And many false prophets shall rise up and lead many astray.
23 “If anyone then says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe.
24 “For false messiahs and false prophets shall arise, and they shall show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones."
Jacob and Identifying False Prophets and Teachers
We have seen that a primary obstacle for Jacob to ascend is the idolatry and materialism of Babylon. But this week, we see an additional obstacle for Jacob; and that is to overcome the deceptions of false prophets and teachers. Fortunately for us, God has given us a key in last week’s Torah portion to identify these false prophets and teachers. Let’s review that scripture –
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 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; 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. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his command[s], and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 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.” – Deuteronomy 13:1-5
Essentially, this scripture is saying that if a prophet, and also a teacher, tells a truth that is used to lead us away from God and His law - the Torah commands - that we are being tested to see if we will follow Him by living His law.
Going After Other Gods
One of the important concepts we see in these verses in Deuteronomy is the that these false prophets lead believers to other gods - v.2. Let's compare how Israel's god compares with Christianity's god.
God's Endtime Servant and the Law
One thing that we should recognize with the return of Elijah - God's Endtime Servant - is that he will be affirming the law God gave to Israel along with the signs and wonders he will perform!
False Prophets/Teachers in the Book of Isaiah
Though not mention here in chapter 4, Isaiah nonetheless addresses the topic of Endtime false prophets.
"But the people do not turn back to him who smites them, nor will they inquire of Jehovah of Hosts. Therefore Jehovah will cut off from Israel head and tail, palm top and reed, in a single day; the elders or notables are the head, the prophets who teach falsehoods, the tail." - Isaiah 9:13-15
"These too have indulged in wine and are giddy with strong drink: priests and prophets have gone astray through liquor. They are intoxicated with wine and stagger because of strong drink; they err as seers, they blunder in their decisions." - Isaiah 28:7
"You have supposed, by taking refuge in deception and hiding behind falsehoods, to have covenanted with Death, or reached an understanding with Sheol, that, should a flooding scourge sweep through the earth, it shall not reach you." - Isaiah 28:15
The Book of Mormon as a Deuteronomy 13 Test
In my previous blog where I demonstrated that the Book of Mormon can be harmonized with the law God gave to Israel and that it should be read in the context and with the foundation of the Torah, we must consider that the Book of Mormon is a Deuteronomy 13 test especially for those Gentiles who initially received it and who have embraced Christianity's god.
You might enjoy this expanded teaching on false prophets by Rabbi Berkson.