Jesus mentioned deception numerous times throughout chapter 24 in the book of Matthew. He also told us how to deal with deception. Jesus said, “Take Heed” (Matthew 24:4). One definition of “Take Heed” is:
listen, hear, focus, pore, rivet, center, centre, concentrate – direct one’s attention on something…There is only one source of “truth” that ensures the deception promised in the last days can be detected and that is the Word of God (John 17:17)
What’s important to understand are the questions the disciples were asking Jesus in Matthew 24:3 - Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Jesus told his disciples the sign of his coming is “deception”. Specifically, look at Matthew 24:24 -
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
This is a most powerful statement yet so misunderstood. It’s not the signs and wonders that are deceiving, it is the prophets with their false message proving their doctrine is true by producing signs and wonders…Jesus said, “
Matthew 7:22-23 -
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, “I never knew you”: depart from me, ye that work iniquity…Jesus didn’t say, I once knew you then you backslid, He said “I never knew you“.
I know it’s difficult, our beloved Apostle Paul told us concerning the last days in 2 Timothy, chapter 3 (Amplified):
BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].
In order to get the full scale of what Apostle Paul was trying to tell us, we must understand a very important scripture in 2 Timothy 3, verse 8 -
Now just as ”Jannes and Jambres” were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned.
Here the Apostle Paul is giving us more light on Matthew 24:24…Just as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses..When you read the account of these magicians of Pharaoh in Exodus chapters 7 & 8, you will see they performed all the “signs and wonders” that Moses performed yet they were false. Moses represented the Word of God and they resisted the true Word of God spoke through Moses…This is to repeat again in the last days. The true Word of God (now in written form) being resisted by those that claim to be fulfilling the Word of God and yet they are false.
False Christs and False Prophets will resist the Word of God and prove to many they deceive they have the Word of God and will support their false teachings with “signs and wonders”.
Apostle Paul also said in the “last days” many will depart from the faith and heep to themselves teachers and will be drawn into fables…2 Timothy 4. These are seducing spirits that are unleashing doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4).
Brothers and Sisters, don’t see your fellowship through – Numbers, Money, Fancy Buildings, Fancy Music or Great Entertainment as the source that God is moving mighty in your meetings, look at what is coming from the pulpit. The Word of God is the only source of truth that WILL NOT lead you astray. God watches over His Word to perform it. If what your fellowships are teaching is not in the Word of God, it is a lie regardless of any physical manifestations, signs or wonders…
Apostle Paul warned the Ephesus Brethren for 3 (three) years night and day with tears that men would rise up among them and draw away disciples (Acts 28-31). Draw them away from what? The True unadulterated Word of God spoke through the Apostles. The same Word we have today.
The following is a quote from A.W. Tozer written years ago but speaks volumes of what is happening among fellowships of today -