Mat 24:3 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?”
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
One of the signs of the last days according to our LORD Jesus Christ is that there would be deception. When you read Matthew chapter 24, it is a very interesting chapter where the LORD talks about the signs of his coming and the end of the age.
Now understand, no man knows the hour or the time of his coming according to scripture!
Matt 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
Yet, Jesus gives us a hint that one of the signs of his return would be deception. It is very interesting that the disciples wanted to know when and what would be the sign of his coming, and the end of the age.
The very first thing that the LORD said was, “Take heed or make sure no man deceives you” in Matthew 24:5.
He then goes on to confirm it in Matthew 24:6.
Mat 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Jesus then talks about wars and climatic events, and pestilences that would take place in the earth.
Mat 24:6 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.
Mat 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then a third time, he tells us about deception in Mat 24:11, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. “
As we continue to read Matthew 24, Jesus tells us a fourth time about deception.
Mat 24:24 For false christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
So, when we look at the sign of the times and end of the age according to Christ. There will be:
- Deception by men or women in any capacity.
- Many coming in his name saying they are the Christ.
- False prophets would arise.
- False christs and prophets arising to deceive the very elect (those called of God/people of God.)
Besides wars and climatic events, the primary thing mentioned is deception. Which means that as believers in Christ we need discernment, we need to watch and pray, and we need to test the spirits to see if they are of God!
Let me give you an example of why you must be careful. A few months ago, I had an experience with an individual who deceived me.
I was going to advertise my books on his website and radio show. The individual seemed to be very credible and claimed to be a person of faith. They talked the Christian talk, they said all the things a believer would say. But his character and integrity were not lining up with his talk.
To make a long story short, I was fleeced out of a small amount of money with no services. As I did my research, I found others who had negative things to say as well! I let down my guard because he proclaimed Jesus, but in the end, I didn’t see good Jesus fruit!
The one thing the individual kept mentioning was money. Of course, we know that everything nice has a price, but if that’s all you keep talking about, then there is another agenda.
You see, today it’s all about the greenbacks and worldly wealth. People will do anything to get your hard-earned money.
Now let us bring balance. There are individuals who are doing a great authentic work for the LORD in ministry or business, and the laborer is worth the wages. Your support will bless the work of the ministry they do, and your life as well.
Nevertheless, there are other people who will cheat, lie, deceive and do anything to get what you have.
The Apostle Paul said that the devil comes as an angel of light. Now understand if we have the false, there is always the authentic. Listen to Paul:
2 Cor 11:12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.
2 Cor 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
2 Cor 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
2 Cor 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Paul is saying that what he does in the name of Christ he will continue to do, because he was called to do it. But there are others who want an opportunity to be regarded as something they haven’t been called to do, in the things which they boast. In other words, they claim to be what they are not.
Paul says these individuals are false deceivers who transform themselves into Apostles of Christ. He then says, Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
He goes on to say that there are others who transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
So how do we know what is authentic and false. Well, check the fruit of the spirt in the individual. Is what they do all about Christ, or themselves. Do they bring glory to God or themselves. Are they constantly talking about money to build themselves, or the Kingdom of our LORD Christ?
You see, ministry isn’t all about money, although it takes money to preach the Gospel. It’s about Christ, saving souls, and the Kingdom of God. If you are in ministry for money, you are deceiving yourself.
Even in the world, watch who you do business with. Make sure it is authentic and legitimate. Never make a snappy decision. Do your homework and check them out completely. Go to their website. Check the Better Business Bureau and above all be patient and do your homework!
As a computer system administrator for all 20 years, I am careful what I click and websites I go to. Be careful what you click on your computer, mobile phone and text. There are people who are big deceivers especially around the holiday season waiting to deceive you.
Above all, watch who you follow and imitate. Be careful. You could be imitating evil. If we stay close to Christ through the word, practice discernment, and stay focused, we will not be deceived. I was deceived a while back and now my discernment is heightened as a result. Remember, the spirit of the antichrist is deception. The Bible says:
2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
2Th 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Stay strong in the LORD! Watch and pray, be patient in all things and above all, don’t be deceived!