Deceivers and their influence
ESCHATOLOGY Lesson 7
Deceivers and Their Influence
Eschatology is the study of end time events. Two of the events prophesied about in the last days are the proliferation of deceivers and a subsequent apostasy. These prophesied events are taking place right now, so we must study what the Bible has to say about them.
Deceptions are lies interwoven and mixed with truth. In deception, there are enough elements of truth to make it palatable to the unstable and naïve soul. Deceivers are masters at mixing perversion with truth to beguile the innocent. Deception is not a threat to the heathen world; they are of their father the devil. Deception is an assault on Christians.
The Bible speaks of several different kinds of false ministers. By definition, they are deemed false because they appear to be genuine, they pass themselves off as genuine, but they are in fact counterfeit. Their destructive effectiveness is based on their ability to pass themselves off as the real deal. These false offices include:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.
For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.
Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord.
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.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
“ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.
on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;
Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—
Note: There is no mention of a false evangelist in the Bible. It seems that adhering to simple evangelism will keep you safe.
Jesus does not want His people deceived. However, He promised it would happen to some believers. Three times in Matthew 24, Jesus warns us of deceivers and false Christs.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ [anointed]; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:4,5 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:11 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:23,24
These deceivers will target the church and will be somewhat successful. We cannot stop them. There will be many and they will deceive many. This can and will affect people we know. We must watch and pray and study the Word to insure that we are not part of the “many.”
Paul, John, and Peter all bore witness to the wicked ministry of these deceivers and spoke of how they will operate.
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. Acts 20:29,30 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Peter 2:1,2 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1 John 4:1,5
Paul predicted that the Church would see wolves come in from the outside and perverse speakers would arise from within to pull people away. Peter prophesied that false teachers were coming. They are here and they purposely “shuffle in destructive errors.” These teachers are producing doctrines that appeal to carnal flesh and successfully teach and promote subtle rebellion against the Spirit of Truth.
HOW DECEIVERS OPERATE
They come in the name of Jesus (Matthew 24:5). They arise from within the church. This denotes they start in obscurity and rise to a grand place of prominence and influence. They are the most effective on national and international platforms (Matthew 24:11, Acts 20:30).They can demonstrate signs and wonders. (Matthew 24:23,24). They stealthily, subtly, and purposely bring in damnable heresies (Acts 20:30, 2 Peter 2:1).
They merchandise the people of God, viewing them as merely a dollar sign (2 Peter 2:3) because, as enemies of the cross, they mind earthly things (Philippians 3:18,19). They are of the world and comfortably hob-knob with worldly people. True preachers fellowship in the Light and are uncomfortable around worldly settings (1 John 4:5). They have a form of godliness but they divorce themselves from the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5). They resist the truth because their minds are corrupted (2 Timothy 3:8). They use grace as an excuse to sin and feel no remorse (Jude 4).
It is my personal conviction that very few false ministers start off false. I believe they start off genuine and eager to build the kingdom, but later succumb to temptations, buffetings, and the workings of familiar spirits (1 Timothy 4:1). However, the Bible is very clear about false ministers—they are no longer God’s ministers. They have become satan’s ministers.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end is according to their works. 2 Cor. 11:13-15
THE END RESULT
Many carnal and lukewarm Christians are successfully finding carnal and heretical preachers to lead them in their lukewarm and damnable lifestyle. This is all the work of the spirit of antichrist. The carnal church will look for a leader and behold, one will arise and lead them into apostasy. This is the Great Falling Away!