Please note the first words out of the mouth of Yeshua of Nazareth when asked this awesome question. They were a clear and concise warning against deception. He continued to teach in verse 5 that "many" would come in the name of Jesus, saying that that which they bring and teach is in of Christ or is His Gospel.
But in fact, what these deceivers will be teaching is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but a lie. This warning against deception of the Church is the central them of Matthew 24, as we see Yeshua repeat and elaborate that warning throughout the chapter.
After laying down the foundational theme deception in Matthew 24:5, Yeshua of Nazareth prophecies of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and a strong persecution of the Church resulting in some betraying one another. And then in verse 11, He returns to that central theme of His warning to the Church of the end times, a warning against deception:
Yeshua includes in His prophecy that "many" will be deceived by these false prophets who as we see in verse 5- will come in the name of Jesus. The power of Satan to deceive in the last days will be greater than any other time in the history of the world, and that is saying a lot. After placing as a mile marker of a special future event He called the "abomination of desolation" first spoken of by Daniel the prophet, Yeshua speaks of a time of great tribulation in verse 21, unsurpassed in human history.
Next, in the strongest terms possible, Yeshua offers the ultimate warning to the Church of the deception that will come in the very last days;
To understand the importance of these words, look at the those who are targeted by the deceptions of these false Christs and false prophets. They are the very elect. Does that tell you anything about the level of deception that will be present during these times?
You see, friends, it is very easy to deceive those who are lost and without Christ in the world. They already are in unbelief by definition, and that is exactly where Satan wants them. It is also not very difficult to deceive someone first hearing the Gospel, as Satan has an arsenal of weapons to distract those who may receive the truth.
But the ELECT... those are souls who have been born again of the Spirit of God. They have been filled with His Spirit, and baptised in His name. They know Him and love Him. So when Yeshua teaches that:
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
...He is not speaking of leather jackets and chains, alcoholism or other simplistic temptations of the flesh. Yeshua is teaching about false prophets who will come in the last days with a Gospel that sounds so close to that of His true Gospel, that if it were possible, the Spirit empowered elect themselves would be deceived.
So then, this is the level of deception that those Saints living in the very last days will face. In such times we ought to stick very, very closely to God's word as the standard for truth and then remaining in the constraints of that truth so as not to allow ourselves to be deceived and the Lord Jesus has warned. And we ought also to remain in the doctrine of His chosen Apostles as the Church born at Pentecost did using their lives and service to Christ as an example of living Godly, in an ungodly world.
Let's head the warning then of Messiah Yeshua in these last days and pray
for discernment of Spirits in all things that we witness, looking for (as we can
expect to see it) those teachings and practices which sounds very, very close
to the true Gospel-- but are not, and distinguishing them from with the
standard of truth of the Bible, and true Christian heritage lived out by the
faithful who have walked before us.
|Web Author:Michael Stevenson Updated: 12/16/2004 7:10PM|