I am sitting in a hotel room, post academic meeting, somewhat jet lagged: it is 2 PM here had my body thinks it is time for dinner. And I am puzzled by the texts for today, and the way they differ.
Now I consider dispensationalism a heresy. There is no fine division between one age and another, and the covenant of God does not change. What is happening in the first passage is that the people have honoured the covenant given to Moses: and in the second passage the congregation are clearly obeying the commands of Christ.
Which brings us to signs, wonders, and errors: contrasted with love, provision and caring.
And on that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the LORD.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies.
“On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies. He will not put on a hairy cloak in order to deceive, but he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a worker of the soil, for a man sold me in my youth.’ And if one asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your back?’ he will say, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’
(Zechariah 13:2-6 ESV)
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
(Ephesians 1:15-23 ESV)
Paul prays that the congregation will be given a spirit of wisdom and knowledge, for they have shown their faithfulness by the love they have for each other. Not by any arcane symbols or statements of power or ostentatious poverty (the hairy shirt or hair shirt of a prophet).
And in that wisdom and discernment those who treat religion as a long con game are called out. Those who preach signs and wonders and seek power or authority: those who want the titles and he aub, chausible and to be standing in front of the altar, but do not love.
For without the spirit guiding us and enabling us the Bible twists in our hands and confirms our error, as we conform to the spirit of this age, wither, and die. For the idols of this generation will die with it: as the music of the 1970s is dated at best, so has the ideologies of the liberation movement from that time been found wanting. [The way that music became worse at the end of the punk era and the Marxist became Gramscian Socialists — and again failed, makes the same point].
The most dating thing you can try to be is relevant, young and hip. Including if you are young. Far better to seek the truth, seek beauty, and seek the good. For they do not change, and there is no law nor covenant against these things.