Yup, it’s a good way to see who is loyal. God also disciplines His children. Love is Obedience. He warns us of eternal punishment. The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom. For lack of knowledge My people are destroyed. Be wise as serpents but harmless as doves.
How exactly are you using the word send? You think God gives people a false message and commissions them to go out and spread it in his name, just to test people? That’s messed up.
It’s what the Bible says (Deut 13)
No it’s not. It’s your take-away from a small handful of verses while ignoring the preponderance of testimony from the bible as a whole.
Keep in mind that ancient Hebrews attributed all things to God’s action, including calamity (which is often referred to as evil by these same Hebrews.) In a world where deceit obviously happens and people can and are wrong about a lot of things -sometimes important things that cost them dearly; it only made sense to think that God must have orchestrated that for his own purposes too. And yes, we still inherit that difficult theodicy of being forced to wonder why God at the very least allows such things to happen, even if not actively orchestrating them. But the clear testimony we have now from Christ (and even from the preceding prophets for those who care to see it) is that God is a God of truth, love, justice, and mercy … not a God of lies, hatred, and treachery.
The other odd case is:
“Micaiah said, “That being the case, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, with all the heavenly assembly standing on his right and on his left. The LORD said, ‘Who will deceive Ahab, so he will attack Ramoth Gilead and die there?’ One said this and another that. Then a spirit stepped forward and stood before the LORD. He said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The LORD asked him, ‘How?’ He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The LORD said, ‘Deceive and overpower him. Go out and do as you have proposed.’” 1 Kings 22:19-22 NET
There were rather unique circumstances in this story which perhaps can justify such an odd occurrence though it does fit your summary that:
Can’t both ideas be true (btw I’m no longer entirely cut on the New Testament)? On the one hand, God can love us and care for us, but on the other hand God wants us to be sure that we are sure of him.
Like Abraham and Isaac?
Hm, interesting question.
What are your thoughts on the NT? No pressure, of course.
I currently consider myself a B’nei Noach, or Noachide. I follow the seven laws of Noah and other laws given to all mankind, not those given to the Jews alone. I consider the whole Tanakh as an authoritative source of Revelation, alongside Jewish tradition, but not the NT.
We all agree that what the Bible says and what the Bible means are often different things.
Don’t you read a ton of Micheal Heiser? Aren’t most of these references (or at least the one Matthew gives below) examples of divine council imagery? Wouldn’t most Jewish and Christian Bible scholars take them as theological or literary strategies, not narration of literal events?
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