Mk. 13:5-6, 21-23
Jesus, answering [Peter, James, John, and Andrew], began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.”
The story of the life and ministry of Moses seems like it has almost too many compelling moments to count. One thing that frequently happened during his story is the evident movement of the hand of God in the physical world. We saw that during all of the plagues to befall Egypt. We saw that when the Red Sea parted for God’s children then collapsed on their enemies. We also saw something that might have looked like a move of God but was not. It happened when Pharaoh’s magicians presented a counterfeit to what God did. [Exo. 7:8-13] As alarming and unreal as that seems when we read it, it certainly happened, and we might see it, too.
One thing every Christian must watch is his or her spiritual hunger. We must make sure to be chasing God and who He is instead of simply chasing what He does. We must distinguish whether we are seeking the miracle or the miracle maker. Both the scriptures and the Holy Spirit will provide us what we need to discern between a genuine move of God and the counterfeit. We cannot be so naive as to think that everything that looks like something God might do is indeed something He has done. Jesus said here that people who are not of God will show signs and wonders. This means that those things cannot necessarily be our measuring rod. We must have a critical eye and look for more.
Jesus gives us a big clue here regarding what that “more” is. The false christs will be speaking words that contradict the scriptures. They will profess to be Jesus but will be shown by the word and the Spirit not to fit that mold. No matter what someone does or says to show their faith or their place in God’s kingdom, no matter how miraculous the experience we have with that person, we must approach it soberly. I believe the word tells us that those who truly seek God and his righteousness will not be deceived by a counterfeit. [v. 23-25; Lk. 11:9-10; 2 Ths. 2:9-12]. Father, help us to put this into practice, that we would be people of discernment who genuinely seek You and your righteousness.