Okay, so I'm listening through the Bible chronologically and get to the part where Moses is in Egypt because God wants Pharaoh to "Let My people go that they may serve Me." Interesting events. Here's a recap to self:
Ask 1: Pharaoh says no.
- · Moses' staff turns into a snake (Creepy.)
- · Pharaoh's wise men and sorcerers using their secret arts threw down their staffs and they turned into snakes.Seriously?
- · But Moses' snake ate up all their snakes. (Good!)
Ask 2: Pharaoh says no.
- · Moses stretches out the staff, strikes the water of the Nile and it is turned into blood and God left it like that for 7 days.
- · Pharaoh's wise men and sorcerers using their secret arts were able to do the same thing (Okay...but evidently were not able to undo.)
Ask 3: Pharaoh says no.
- · Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff over the waters of Egypt and frogs came out and covered the land. (Gross.)
- · Magicians did the same thing (These secret arts are really concerning me but again they couldn't remove the frogs.)
- · Pharaoh asked Moses to ask God to remove them, God did. But, Pharaoh still wouldn't let the people go. So...
- Moses stretched out his staff and struck the dust and gnats covered the land. Oh, gnats!
- · BUT...the magicians tried, with their secret arts, to bring out gnats and couldn't. Seriously?
Using their secret arts, they could turn staffs into snakes, water to blood, bring forth frogs but they couldn't bring out tiny little gnats! Thank the Lord their abilities and power was limited and that God is all-powerful. But still, don't you think the fact they possessed that kind of ability or power is attention-getting?
This recap reminds me of something Jesus says in Matthew 7..."Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?"
Did you see that? They were casting out demons and performing many miracles! Okay... Jesus goes on to say to these performing many miracles - "I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me you who practice lawlessness." Attention-getting!
So, they were not performing miracles in the power of God but were practicing lawlessness. Boy, that's a - Beware! There are people out there who are doing a lot of "things" in the name of the Lord. Jesus says they are false prophets who come in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Oh, my goodness. So, how will we know them? Well, according to the Word of God below, we are not to listen to their words or be impressed by the fact that they can cast out demons or even perform many miracles. Well then, how will we know them? By how they live their lives. What their lives produce. Remember bad fruit produces fruit flies (oh gnats!). Does what they say match what they do? Do they say they are good, godly, following Christ, believe in His Word - but then as a way of life they don't have God-like behavior or character? Then, what does that tell us? If they have no desire to know God by knowing God's Word, then no way, no how they are speaking for God or doing His work. If their decisions are not in line with the decisions God says to make or according to His character, then who are they following? Even more concerning is if we don't know God because we don't know His word - how will we know the difference?
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’" Matthew 7:13-23