Who are the people trying to deceive if possible, even the elect? Who are the ones who seek to “deceive the many?” We read many times in the scriptures of false Christ’s, deceitful workers, false prophets, false brethren, deceivers, wolves, false shepherds, false teachers, etc.
How can we recognize them? What distinguishes them as such? For sure, we know that there are many of them. Jesus tells us so. He not only tells us so, but He also identifies them for us!
In Matthew 7:22, Jesus says that “MANY will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord, Was it not in Your name that we prophesy, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many wonderful works? Then I will say to them, I never knew you. Depart from Me, workers of iniquity.”
Jesus singles out their marks as to who these MANY people are:
- they will/or have prophesied (taught the Bible; preached sermons) in His name
- drove out many demons in His name
- have done many wonderful works in His name
Also, something similar in Matthew 24:5: “For MANY shall be coming in My name, saying, I am the Christ and shall be deceiving MANY.”
So again, who are the “MANY” today who preach sermons about Jesus; teach about Him in the Bible; rule over His people, all done of course, through and in His name? Who are the ones who are sending away devils in His name? Who are the ones who do MANY wonderful works in the name of Jesus Christ? According to Jesus, just who are these MANY deceivers, as well as the MANY deceived?
Is it the Muslims? Maybe the Jews? How about the Chinese or Russians? What about the Atheists?
Do any of these people evangelize, preach, teach, drive out devils, and do many wonderful works in the name of Jesus Christ?
If not, then who are the MANY who do? How about today’s local institutional church that we find on every street corner! How about the millions and millions of professing Christians in the world today who belong to these churches and who teach and preach in His name, put forth devils and demons in His name, and do MANY wonderful works in His name!
These are the “MANY” that Jesus is warning us about. But, is anyone listening?
These are the people to watch out for; to be on guard against. These are the people who are guilty of being “workers of iniquity.”
It’s the same issue when Jesus said in Matthew 24, “For MANY shall be coming in My name, saying, I am the Christ and shall be deceiving MANY.”
MANY Christians today teach and preach that Jesus is in fact, the Christ. They even proudly proclaim to be His mouthpiece and representative! It is not only those who preach sermons and teach the Bible, who drive out devils, who do MANY wonderful works in His name who are deceiving and being deceived but also the MANY who teach in His Name, claiming to be authorized by Him, that Jesus is actually the Christ, the Son of God!
Jesus said that it is THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE DECEIVING THE MANY!
Now, dear reader, the Truth is at stake here, and perhaps for some of you, your life is at stake too. What Jesus is saying here is either the Truth or He is full of hot air! If you think it is the latter and you refuse to hear and receive His words, you might as well leave this site and find another that is more to your liking. I can’t be of any help to you.
Has Truth become so enfeebled that it fears honest and open examination? Sadly, this is exactly the case. If the millions upon millions of professing Christians attending their church services week after week are totally ambivalent to what’s going on, or worse; refuse to search for the Truth themselves, isn’t that an open exhibition to the truth of Jesus’ words? How readily people are being deceived, swallowing poisonous false teachings and practices without question.
Yet, many Christians convince themselves that this nicely ordered religious routine equals “spirituality” and now, this makes them feel righteous before God. In this state, they are easily pacified, distracted from biblical reality, controlled by their leaders and easily manipulated by deceptive teachings.
Today, those calling themselves “Christians” hardly know true men of God from deceivers coming in the Name of Jesus Christ. This is because many of them do not have the Spirit of God to discern. They are lost and without a shepherd. They remain mere followers of men and will always be so, unless the Lord Himself intervenes on their behalf. If you were to read “The Christian Church: Distorted and Deformed” and/or “Obey Them,” you would find far more than enough sure evidence that this is precisely the case.
But yet, the burning question must be asked again: Is anyone listening?
Jesus said that it is THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE DECEIVING THE MANY!
Isn’t it absolutely amazing how many times we have heard or read these words of Jesus and rarely no one ever looks in the mirror at themselves, but always applies these verses of the “MANY” to other people outside of their particular group. So many times they will hear, “….MANY shall say unto Me in that day…AND DECEIVE THE MANY….,” and yet they do not hear, see, or really believe what is said. Perhaps there might have been a time where someone actually got serious and started to ask some questions, but when they were rebuked, or ridiculed for asking questions that caused division, they learned not to question anymore. They learned to go along with the crowd.
Brethren, this is NOT how it should be. Each Christian has a command from God to “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. How many Christians who say that “the New Testament is a sufficient guide for our faith and practice” have ever really studied it?
The problem with many Christians in our day is that they read their Bible, not expecting to be taught of God from it, but will get their teaching from their pastors, preachers, and commentaries, and then go to the Bible only expecting to find proof for what they have already been taught! Can’t we see how dangerous this is?
Every Christian needs to ask themselves if they know for sure why they believe what they profess to believe, and to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15
The fact that so many in our day carelessly and mindlessly accept a teaching or practice just because it comes from “my church” or “my pastor” is very troubling in light of the apostle Paul’s words:
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
The Spirit says clearly that some people will abandon the faith in later times; giving heed to deceiving spirits and teachings of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1
The apostle Peter warns of the same:
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in destructive, untrue teachings, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their destructive ways; by reason of whom the way of truth will be defamed.” 2 Peter 2:1-2
How many times has the Lord Himself warned over and again of false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The church has become, as Jesus foretold, a field of wheat and tares; a field of genuine believers and counterfeits. These days are indeed perilous times we live in. We need to all the more examine ourselves and ask where our loyalties rest. Have we believed a particular teaching or doctrine from the Bible just because someone said it was true?
Brethren, the truth is available, but only in the One who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Are you determined to believe whatever He will show you, regardless of the cost, or the scorn and ridicule it may bring from others?
If the Truth will shatter your cherished beliefs, then are you willing to be shattered as well, no matter how painful it might be?
Isn’t God’s Truth more important than personal belief, and loyalty to that Truth more important than loyalty to traditions, your pastor, your friends, or your local church?
How long will you continue to cling to man’s words when they are discovered to be such?
We are all going to have to give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12). There could never be any excuse for the absolute failure of Christians in our age to follow and study the Bible. Not just follow and study WHAT OTHER MEN SAY about the Bible, but to actually search the scriptures. Today, we have bible programs that show every Greek word, its meaning, and what part of speech it is. We have bible dictionaries, lexicons, the Internet and resources without end.
And of course, we have the ever-present help and aid of the Spirit Himself who will “guide us into all Truth.” John 16:13 We have “the One who is our Teacher.” Matthew 23:8 We have “the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, who shall teach you all things.” John 14:26 We have “received the Spirit sent by God, so that we may know all that God has given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12
We are indeed, “without excuse!”
Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8
Jesus foretold that there would be MANY deceivers and MANY deceived. Not a few, but MANY. In addition to this Jesus asks the question, “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” He knew that when He came back, the world would be embracing a religious system filled with deceit!
He also knew that “in that day,” true faith would be almost entirely absent from the face of the earth.
What should this warn us against? That it is certainly very dangerous to assume that your mainstream local Christian church follows the Bible and has the truth. Surely, Jesus knew what things would be like in our day.
He knew that here in the 21st century, there would be millions upon millions upon millions of professing Christians on the earth enthralled with their churches and denominations; their confessions; their creeds; their church constitutions; their pastors and teachers; books and commentaries; seminaries and religious academies; Christian conferences, seminars, and theological workshops; world wide missionary movements; Christian radio and TV; the Internet, and a host of other things, and yet in spite of all this, He asks, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
In a world full of deceivers and the deceived, and in a time when Jesus said true faith would be scarce, it simply won’t do to just believe what someone else had said, regardless of how many hundreds of years a particular teaching or doctrine has existed, or how many schools the teacher went to, or how sincere they are. More than ever, we need to cry out for wisdom and understanding, all the while diligently studying His word.
Indeed, there are MANY today who are coming in Jesus’ name, doing many wonderful works, proclaiming Him to be the Christ, the Son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s, proclaiming to worship Him, in His House, on His Day, proclaiming themselves to be His representatives, proclaiming for themselves “authority” derived from Him, and yet…AND YET, are deceiving the MANY.
“Be not deceived my beloved brethren.” James 1:16
Thanks to Ken Cascio