Matthew 24:4, “Yeshua answered and said to them, “Beware that no man will deceive you.”
The Lord Jesus gives us a clear warning and word of caution because of the deception of those who will, knowingly or unknowingly, serve the devil and his Antichrist and propagate their deception to those who lack discernment. This will be especially true during the Tribulation period when the Antichrist, who will deceive those who are under a delusional spirit from God (Romans 1:18-21), will fool many into believing his lies.
Israel had seen His miracles (we know of 37), His incredible knowledge of the Word of God (that He wrote), and the fact they could never catch Him in any error of the Jewish law. They saw His command of speech with the crowds that flocked to see Him. They, however, failed to see Him as He truly was - Mashiach Nagid .
Peter issued a similar warning in 2 Peter 3:17, “Dear friends, you already know these things. So be on your guard not to be carried away by the deception of people who have no principles. Then you won't fall from your firm position.”
John, the beloved, warned in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe all spirits, but be distinguishing between the spirits whether they are from God, because many false Prophets have gone out into the world.” As J. Vernon McGee was fond of saying, “We are to be aware of false teachers, and there are many of those around today.”
How are we to be aware of false teachers?
- Learn to use and grow the discernment of the Holy Spirit.
- Learn and use the sword of the Word of God to test the spirits.
- False prophets can be detected by their fruits
Jesus states, “"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are savage wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) Jesus may have been talking about the Pharisee’s philosophy here, but we have them today who are much slicker and appealing to some.
And for further witness, we have the words of Paul, who knew his time was near and truly was concerned about the flock, Acts20:29,"I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock."
Romans 16:17, "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them."
We all have the tools to fight deception if we will take the time necessary to use them. Not only pray, but listen to what God is saying to each of us in these perilous times. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
In that same chapter is a very inspiring verse of what we have in our possession.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good action." (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
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