Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jesus' First Warning: Don't be Deceived by False Christs

When the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, "When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?," his first comment was this:

Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Matthew 24:4-5, NIV 1985).

The very first thing Jesus warned us about is deception. He said many people would be deceived.  (Tweet that!) He didn't say it was possible that many would be deceived. He said many will be deceived.

I have to wonder, what would those doing the deceiving look like? This Scripture verse says many will come in Jesus' name "claiming, 'I am the Christ.'"

So I wonder, does someone have to actually say "I am the Christ" to fulfill this prophecy or do more subtle expressions meet that requirement? And will someone or several … or "many" … actually say "I am the Christ"? Well it appears to me Jesus was saying yes, that would happen. I also think the more subtle deceptions will be going on.

So we would be wise to ask who today is saying "I am the Christ"? Anyone?

The word "Christ" is the Greek translation of the same word that in Hebrew is "Messiah." The literal translation means "anointed one" and refers to the person God promised to send. (You can read more about that in the April 26, 2014, post.)

So according to Jesus' prophecy, in the "End Times" many will be claiming they are the Anointed One that God promised to send. Do you see anyone like that today?

We know in the future the Antichrist will claim to be the Christ, but that, of course, will be a lie. But the real question is, who will recognize that lie? If you don't know the truth and who the true Christ is, wouldn't it be easy to be deceived?

In the more subtler realm, I think those who preach, teach, and believe the message that "all paths lead to heaven" or all religions are the same and all lead to salvation are claiming they know the way. (Tweet that!) But Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except through me."

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me..." (John 14:6).

Here's another helpful Bible verse:

Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NLT).

What does “come in my name” mean, and are we seeing that now? I believe those Christian (or perhaps not-so-Christian anymore) denominations and churches that are preaching something other than what the Bible says are fulfilling this prophecy. (Tweet that!) This includes those that are teaching that homosexuality, adultery, premarital sex, abortion, and a list of other sins are not a sin.

This also includes those who are promoting combining religions, such as "Chrislam." (Tweet that!) There's a lot of information out there about this movement. This article seems helpful and has a lot of links for additional information if you want to learn more about that: Rick Warren Addresses Chrislam Controversy

Jesus tells us "Watch out that no one deceives you." But that begs the question, how do we do that? (Tweet that!) The answer is to know the Truth. If you know the Truth and hold on to that, then no one can deceive you. How do we know the Truth? Look again at John 14:6 above. Jesus said, "I am … the truth." Jesus is the Truth personified. If you know him, you know the Truth. (Tweet that!) If you're not sure what the truth is in any given situation, you can ask him and he will answer you and help you to know the truth.

Borrowing from a popular bumper-sticker theology we could say:

Know Jesus, know Truth. No Jesus, no truth.

We'll talk about "false Christs" performing great signs and miracles in the next post.


  1. Very helpful information for everyone Dianne. Good job faithful servant of Christ. Hugs from me! :)

    1. Thank you, Paulette. I'm so grateful for everyone who stops by to read. Especially grateful for those who leave a comment! Hugs back!