April 10, 2012
Note how often the Word speaks of false prophets and of deceptive signs and wonders, and how clearly it assumes that they will be among us. Where is the warning against such in our local Evangelical churches? All taken from the NIV
- “Enter through the narrow gate. - -
- 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, - -
- 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, - -
- 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man
Matt. 24 - All, but especially:
4-5 - Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (Mark 13:5-6)
23-24 - At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.
- The Greek "Christ" and the Hebrew “Messiah” mean "anointed one.” A false Christ will typically profess some special anointing, revelation or message that directs people away from the Lord Jesus Christ as their prime focus. He does not need to declare himself to be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 13:21-22 - At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
- Our present pursuit of signs and miracles makes us vulnerable.
John 5:43 - I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
Acts 20:28-30 - Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
II Cor. 11:3-4 - But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
II Cor. 11:12-15 - And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
- Wow, what does this say to those who represent themselves or others of their kind to be Apostles equal to Paul and others?
Gal. 1:6-9 - I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
II Thess. 2:9-12 - The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, - - - - - - -
I Tim. 4:1-3 - The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
- The deceiving spirits will bring much that is contrary to truth.
I Tim. 6:20-21 - Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
II Tim. 4:3 - For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
- There will be many false teachers and their message is appealing to the old nature.
2 Peter 2:1-3 - But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
- Wow, “listen up” Christians!
Revelation 13:13-14 - And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived
- Miracles and deception are prime tools in Satan’s arsenal.
Rev. 16:13-15 – Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. 15 “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
Rev. 19:20 – But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
Ken Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636
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