Matthew 24: 23-26 may be Jesus attempt at clarifying his opening statement to the disciples.
Matthew 24:4-5 KJV And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
The idea of deception was not a new concept to them.
Jeremiah 14:14 NASB Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.
Pay attention to what is being said here in Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 NASB “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.
This false prophet, demonstrating signs and wonders, to the casual observer would give the impression that the person has some intense relationship with God or an intensely powerful spirit. What was the test of a false prophet in the Old Testament, their word coming to pass? Does this test work with signs? That is not clear, but what they use it for is. In the passage above, the worker of signs then misleads, because they now have followers. I think the greater question might be, will you have time to stand around, as you wait to prove this guy. One other thing, that Jesus made it clear that people will be operating in powerful signs, indicates that it is not exclusive to the demonic; Joel chapter two, the one that Peter quoted an excerpt from, tells us about followers of God moving in power gifts.
Key words: “Let us go after other gods and let us serve them,” Israel had direct instructions against doing something like this, and from several sources.
Deuteronomy 28:14 NASB and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Jeremiah 25:6 NASB and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’
The subtle problem here is that the message is not always so direct, because an aspect of brainwashing is the gradual breakdown of moral rules and sensibilities.
My mind keeps going back to the people who stand out most in my mind, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. David Koresh, the leader of the branch Davidians, was able to get married couples to give up their spouses to him so that he alone could father more sons of god. I can tell you that there would have been many red flags long before that happened, and he and I would have had a brief, but convincing talk, ending with my wife and I leaving.
The consensus would be that the disciples should have memorized these things in the synagogue schools, but I have heard, repeatedly, that Jesus disciples had probably been kicked out, because they were not the cream of the crop. That does not prove anything, and that Jesus spoke to them in this way, something he would not have done if he had thought for a second that they are not going to understand this. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that they knew exactly what he was saying to them.
If it is safe to assume they understood then where did the mind immediately go when he said this?
Mark 13:22 KJV For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Whom would they have perceived as the elect? You got it, the scribes, Pharisee, and priesthood of Israel. (The same guys that would soon put Jesus on the cross.) When we throw ourselves back into the context, then they perceived that who ever this character is, and whatever he represents, is going to be monumental in its deception.
Sorry about the long introductions but it fits.
You should have your bible open by now so turn to Matthew 24: 23-26.
Matthew 24:23-26 CEV Someone may say, “Here is the Messiah!” or “There he is!” But don’t believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will come and work great miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God’s chosen ones. But I have warned you ahead of time. If you are told that the Messiah is out in the desert, don’t go there! And if you are told that he is in some secret place, don’t believe it!
If we mentally place ourselves in this period to understand, we are 3-1/2 years into the middle of wrath being poured out upon the earth, and it just worsened with the advent of the false prophet.
The wrath of God, (in actuality it is the wrath of the Lamb) – Jesus Christ, primarily begins with the sixth chapter of Revelation.
Revelation 6:16-17 NASB and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Are there still believers on the earth during this time, you can count on it, as they have chosen to follow Jesus the Messiah since the removal of the church from the earth, and not whatever this person is selling. True, they missed the rapture, but how glorious a hope they will have, and they will rule and reign with Christ over this earth.
Mark’s gospel gives us a parallel version with a slightly different spin.
Mark 13:21-22 GW “At that time don’t believe anyone who tells you, ‘Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ False messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will work miraculous signs and do wonderful things to deceive, if possible, those whom God has chosen.
Do an Internet search for people who called themselves Jesus. Conservatively, there have been over 50, and I mentioned two of them a few paragraphs ago. Still this should strike you odd because we do not have people running around, claiming to be God’s son, as this implies without thinking them insane.
If we stick with key words, such as Messiah then we are hit with a problem immediately when we look up the Greek word translated Messiah. It means anointed, and though we typically ascribe that designation to Jesus Christ, it is easy to see why for the word is khristos. That coincidence does not give Jesus exclusive rights to the word, just as many, during his days on earth, had his name, Yashua, transliterated Joshua.
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise” False Christs = pseudochristos. Seems like it should be self-explanatory, but why so many? Is there money involved; perhaps power? Consider that during this period an entity is hell-bent on killing off anything that resembles a follower of Christ, so what advantage would that be.
The Greek wording for false prophets is rather eye-opening pseudoprophētēs, and can have several possibilities – a spurious (counterfeit) prophet, that is, pretended foreteller or religious impostor:
The word translated “arise”, is the Greek word egeiro, and means to waken. Now this immediately grabs my attention and here is why. Four angels, apparently large and vicious in their capabilities, are to be released from the chains they have been bound with and kept in the Euphrates River.
Revelation 9:14-15 NASB one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.
You might say these were awakened. However, we are talking about humans acting as false messiahs.
You are going to have to look at Islam, once again, to gain some clarity.
List of Mahdi claimants
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Muslim eschatology, the Mahdi is a Messianic figure who, it is believed, will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment and, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. People claiming to be the Mahdi have appeared across the Muslim world – in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East – and throughout history since the birth of Islam (610 CE).
A claimant Mahdi can wield great temporal, as well as spiritual, power: claimant Mahdis have founded states (e.g. the late 19th-century Mahdiyah in Sudan), as well as religions and sects (e.g. Bábism, or the Ahmadiyya movement). The continued relevance of the Mahdi doctrine in the Muslim world was most recently emphasised during the 1979 seizing of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by at least 200 militants led by Juhayman al-Otaibi, who had declared his brother-in-law, Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani, the Mahdi.
To make this short, I counted 26. I am sure it is longer as history is always given an appropriate spin convenient to the tellers’ point of view.
We have not eliminated people claiming to be Jesus, but neither have we excluded Islam from having many claiming to be “the Mahdi”. There would certainly be some advantages in terms of power, authoritative decisions, and money (although Islam will deny that.)
Matthew 24:24 NASB “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
False though they may be, they will put on a good show. Many will bow their knee to Allah because of the signs. It would seem that they are focused heavily on deceiving the elect, the leadership of religious Israel.
As a side note, I will show you a commentary by John MacArthur. I have gone through my phases with him, ranging from disgust to respect, and now, slowly finding it difficult to waste my time hunting for the good with him.
“to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ‘This warning clearly implies that such deception is not possible’” (Joh_10:4-5).
It seems that John MacArthur is choosing to ignore the emphatic tone, and concern in Jesus response. “”See to it that no one misleads you.”
There is a context. I know I keep saying that, but deliveries lacking a solid context have led the church into a lifelong state of confusion, and in some, depression. Most do not know if we are coming or going.
This time is not about the church. It is most definitely about Israel and the nations. The nations, a generalized statement, especially Muslim nations, are at odds with Israel. I do not think that America can be excluded from the nations at odds with Israel, especially when the Secretary of State, John Kerry, is actively telling Israel to stand down as they attempt to gain support in protecting themselves. That conveys nothing short of animosity toward Israel, in my thinking.
The theme in part seven is a serious concern about deception by people claiming to be Jesus. Again, the Muslim world will only be focused on one thing during the last 3 ½ years, and that will be the elimination of anyone that represents Christ, Jews, or challenges the will of Allah merely by not being a Muslim.
This is not a time for civilized people, for as ugly as this wanton slaughter sounds, we will also see deadly weather elements, stars falling from the sky, darkness across the land, rain being shut off, an earthquake that impacts the entire earth, and a mind bending level of violence. You can avoid this by turning to Jesus Christ and giving him your life. Sure, you can wait, if you think you have the backbone for it.