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W4. Testing Everything that is Spoken in God's Name.    [Make a Comment]

We are to test everything that is spoken in God's name.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Deuteronomy 13:2-4(1-3) (Maimonides RN28; Meir MN22; Chinuch C456)
If a prophet or someone who gets messages while dreaming arises among you and he gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes about as he predicted when he said, 'Let's follow other gods, which you have not known; and let us serve them,' you are not to listen to what that prophet or dreamer says. For ADONAI your God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do love ADONAI your God with all your heart and being.

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 (Maimonides RN29; Chinuch C519)
You may be wondering, 'How are we to know if a word has not been spoken by ADONAI?' When a prophet speaks in the name of ADONAI, and the prediction does not come true - that is, the word is not fulfilled - then ADONAI did not speak that word. The prophet who said it spoke presumptuously; you have nothing to fear from him.

Acts 17:11
Now the people here were of nobler character than the ones in Thessalonica; they eagerly welcomed the message, checking the Tanakh every day to see if the things Sha'ul was saying were true.

1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
Don't quench the Spirit, don't despise inspired messages. But do test everything - hold onto what is good, but keep away from every form of evil.

1 John 4:1-3
Dear friends, don't trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being is from God, and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God - in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah. You have heard that he is coming. Well, he's here now, in the world already!

Supportive Scriptures

1 Corinthians 14:29-33
Let two or three prophets speak, while the others weigh what is said.

1 Corinthians 14:37-38
If anyone thinks he is a prophet or is endowed with the Spirit, let him acknowledge that what I am writing you is a command of the Lord. But if someone doesn't recognize this, then let him remain unrecognized.


Scripture admonishes us to "test everything" (1 Thessalonians 5:21) because there are false prophets in the world who would mislead us intentionally, and also because well-meaning men sometimes mishear the voice of God. It was the approach used by the men of Berea who "welcomed Paul's message", but engaged in "checking the Tanakh every day to see if the things Sha'ul was saying were true" (Acts 17:11).

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not included among the 613 of Maimonides, Meir, or HaChinuch. However, #RN28, #MN22, and #C456 (based upon Deuteronomy 13:4(3)), instructs us to not listen to anyone who prophesies in the name of an idol.


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