I’ve become very interested in the Second Coming of Christ since I came up here and it’s given me a burden that I want to point out and give insight on. Not to mention, a few days ago one of my roommates showed me a website of a guy claiming to be Jesus… I laughed at the guy until I found out that he has over 1 million followers in South America. My heart sank.
This is my attempt to point out information about the false christs and false prophets that deceive people preceding the Great and Terrible day of the Lord, and I will point out the greatness of Christ’s return which is highly contrasting to the appearances of false christs and prophets. Jesus tells his disciples in Matt 24:4,5 “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.” He warns us beforehand so that we aren’t deceived or misled. And again later in that chapter he says:
Matt 24:23-27 –Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There he is!” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See I have told you beforehand… For as lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Notice how he says false “christs” will arise. In verse 4 he says that many will come in his name –I take this to mean they will claim to be the Jesus Christ we know. In verse 24, he mentions false christs and prophets that will perform great signs. “The Christ” (Messiah) refers to a savior and the promised deliverer prophesied all throughout the Old Testament. I’m saying this to make a distinction between 2 categories: those who come saying that they are “the promised deliverer” to the Jewish nation and/or savior to the world, and those who come saying that they are Jesus.
Also, there will be false prophets who deceive many by their great signs and wonders. I think it’s important to understand that there are both false christs and prophets in the world today as have been in the past, and that there are miraculous signs and wonders which have been performed not by the power of God throughout the world. (e.g. Moses performs signs to convince Pharaoh to free Israelites. Pharaoh’s wise men and sorcerers work the same signs by their own power up until the third plague. Today witchdoctors treat symptoms; Hindu statues in India drink milk, etc… -these among many others are foreshadowing even greater signs to be performed by them.)
For instance, the False Prophet of the Anti-Christ will perform great signs to deceive many.
Rev 13:12,13 – It [the Second Beast] exercises all the authority of the First Beast [the Anti-Christ] in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the First Beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people. And by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the Beast it deceives those who dwell on earth…
At this time the Anti-Christ has shown up and his False Prophet performs signs to validate him and deceive people into thinking he is God. Notice, the distinction between the Anti-Christ and the false christs that come in the name of Jesus. The Anti-Christ doesn’t acknowledge Jesus or any other god because he magnifies himself calling himself God above all others. (Dan 11:37) The Anti-Christ is more likened to the false christs found in Matt 24:23.
The Second Beast performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven! Imagine what people will think when a man has such power to even control fire from the skies to fall down in front of people. In the Old Testament, Elijah calls down fire from heaven to prove that he is man of God (2 Kings 1:10) The False Prophet is allowed such a sign and it will deceive many. These signs will be used to validate the Anti-Christ so that people believe he is god. At first, I questioned why God would allow people to be deceived in such a tricky way, where the False Prophet could perform such great signs to deceive many, but God is just when Jesus tells us not to be led astray by false prophets or by anyone claiming to be God or Christ, regardless of the great signs they accomplish! And at this time, the whole world will have heard the Gospel of the Kingdom, thus knowing Jesus’s warning. (Matt 24:14)
Here’s my other main point. God gives us great insight into the sign of Jesus’s coming and lets us know that it will be unavoidably noticeable for the whole world. All in Christ will rise including those living and the dead. I’m thinking graveyards will be somewhat destroyed, and even the evidence of living Christians all together meeting the Lord in the air is astounding! In more than a few ways, it will be loud and visible for all to see. It’s not like what you see in the Left Behind series where people disappear and no one knows what happened. (But thank you Series for at least getting people interested in the end-times.) Here are some scriptures I’ve come across concerning the Coming of Christ:
Rev 2:7 – Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
1 Thes 4:16,17 –For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall raise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
Matt 24:29-31 –Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
And the passage right before that:
Matt 24:23-27 –Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There he is!” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, “Look he is in the wilderness,” do not go out. If they say, “Look, he is in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. For as lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Jesus makes a clear distinction between the coming of false christs and his coming.
I really enjoyed putting this together and it helped me study more. There’s a nerdiness about me that I secretly love and really enjoy getting to express. I want to point out that I realize that I’m not perfect -that I only know in part, but I’m determined to present the Word of God for what it is and to grow in the knowledge of the scriptures to know Jesus for who he is! And it’s my desire that you seek the Scriptures yourself so that you grow in your knowledge and in the understanding of who Jesus is to a greater extent each day.
Feel free to leave a comment! Actually, please leave a comment (you might be the first ever on my wordpress! WOOT!) and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!
***Update: Every friday and saturday we have a sort of simple worship service that includes an hour of worship and an hour of teaching. Last night Mike talked about false teachers and cults and the contrasts they have to what we see in the Bible. I was amazed at how God had been teaching me in the past week about all this! I thought it would be appropriate to post the sermon notes. Hope you enjoy!