The Gifts Part 42
From the words of Jesus, the words of Peter, and the words of Paul, all divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, we come to the understanding that false prophets and false prophecy would plague the household of faith until the Lord’s return. Not only would these deceivers attempt to worm their way into the congregation of God distorting the message of the cross, turning men’s hearts away from truth, and deceiving the easily swayed, as time marched on and the end of all things was within sight, their numbers would grow and their power would intensify.
Within the context of the end times, and His ultimate return Jesus speaks of these false teachers, and false prophets, and though He mentions such things as earthquakes, famines, pestilences, wars, and rumors of war only once in His discourse, He repeatedly returns to these individuals who would come wave upon wave attempting to deceive if possible even the elect.
Yes, we will get a little scripture heavy today, but it is for our own edification, it is for our own good, it is for our own spiritual wellbeing, because the word of God holds more weight than my words, and though you might disagree with what I say, or with my personal opinion on any given matter, the word of God is undeniable and irrefutable.
Matthew 24:3-6, “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.’”
As Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He knew full well that not only was He speaking to them, but to all who would follow afterward. Although the disciples were anxious to know when the end of the age would come, and what the sign of His coming would be, the first thing that Jesus instructed is that we beware and that we take heed that no one deceive us.
If Jesus warned His disciples against being deceived, those men who walked with Him and learned from Him, and grew in Him, then it goes without saying that all men are susceptible to deception. Hence the reason for our being cautious, hence the reason for our being aware of what we receive in our hearts, and for taking heed of those teachings and doctrines that come across our path. To take heed, is to pay careful attention to, and consider that which we hear, and see. It is as important to consider what we hear, than it is to pay careful attention to it, because when we consider a thing, we compare it with the knowledge we have amassed concerning the topic at hand, and conclude whether or not it lines up with what we had formerly known. When we consider doctrines, teachings or even words of prophecy, the plumb line must be the word of God.
It is not enough to ‘feel’ as though a word is right and true, because many today walk according to the imagination of their own heart, and as such that which they feel ‘bears witness’ to their flesh rather than to the word of God. It is the Bible that must be our sounding board; it is the word of God that a message or a teaching must resonate with and not someone else’s opinion or our own preconceived notion.
If Christ’s first words concerning the end of the age and the sign of His coming was that we take heed that we are not deceived, then we must do just that, take heed, be cautious, be weary, for many have come, and many will continue to come in His name, saying they are the Christ, and will deceive many.
Although there have been few less than sane individuals throughout the ages who claimed to be the embodiment of Christ on earth since His ascension, what Christ meant when He said that many would come in His name saying they were the Christ, was that they would come in His name claiming to be anointed of God. This is the literal translation of Christ, one who is anointed.
So it’s not just men who would come claiming to be Christ returned in the flesh that we must be weary of it is also those who come claiming to be anointed of God, yet who possess no fruit of the Spirit, and whose teaching contradicts the Bible.
The reason Jesus led off with the words ‘take heed that no one deceives you’ when speaking of the end of the age and the signs of His coming, and yes this is just a personal opinion but nevertheless tethered in reason, is if along the way someone did manage to deceive us with great swelling words and doctrines pleasing to the flesh but in no way in tune with the word of God, then we would not believe anything He would tell us concerning the end times even though these words came directly from His lips.
Yes, there are many teachings and doctrines of men floating about even on such topics as the end of the age, and the sign of Christ’s return that outright contradict the Bible, as well as the words of Jesus, yet men cling to these doctrines with grips of iron, refusing to believe the Savior who in His love and wisdom forewarned us of the days to come. If such times find us unprepared, if we did not take heed as He instructed us to do and we have been deceived into believing a lie, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.