But testing is not the same thing as being tempted. Nor does it come from the same source. A false prophet is according to scripture allowed as a tester of our love and allegiance to God and His truth. The false prophet brings about a questioning of what we know or at least thought to be true. So the man of God is challenged to revisit his understanding. He digs deeper. He mines out the truth of God’s word, and he is able to discern the false from the true prophet.
So how do you know that what I just told you is true? God has told us that a prophet can be discerned to be true if his words come to pass. But there is more concerning prophets that we can’t ignore.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods whom you have not known and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
What we know is that Israel failed this test on several occasions throughout her Old Testament history. And we know that some believers will also fail it during the coming Tribulation. The Antichrist will produce signs which will come true, and apostasy will occur. Proving that they do not love the Lord with all their heart.
Therefore God says:
Exodus 22:20 “He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the Lord alone, shall be utterly destroyed.
Exodus 23:13 Now concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard; and do not mention the name of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth.
— It would seem that this sin of turning to other God’s is a sin unto death. It is making an idol or a god that is a sin, which cannot be undone. This pronouncement seems to place off limits other scriptural promises where it is said to confess your sins one to the other. James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
A man once committed to follow Christ, who has failed this test concerning his love for God seems to no longer have rights or claims on the promises of scripture made to the righteous man. This test from God seems to be a pass fail test.
James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which [the Lord] has promised to those who love Him. (NASB2020)