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With much power comes much God likeness and Christ likeness.  “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.  At that time 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 appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.  See, I have told you ahead of time.”[1]

False Christs are not antichrists, no, they are not against the Messiah, who is the Christ, but they are just false.  The Israelites were expecting the Christ, the Messiah, the One who would come to redeem them, and preceding Him would be a prophet, the prophet, even Elijah himself, as prophesied before what was called “that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”[2]

That is why in John 1:19 the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask John the Baptist who he was.  And when he replied, “I am not the Christ,” they then asked him, “Are you the prophet?”[3]  In their understanding, the Messiah would have His way prepared by a prophet, the prophet, and this is where for the Jews, they are a bit confused as to who Jesus is.  For through Moses, God had told them that He would raise up a prophet “like you from among their brothers; I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.”[4]

Yet at the same time, they also knew that when they were oppressed deliverers would come; judges as they were called who would rescue and deliver them from their enemies.  By the time of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem, the Jews were looking for and expecting someone, or even two men who would be the prophet and/or the Messiah.  One of them would have miraculous powers like Moses and Elijah, and the other would be kingly from the line of David, who would deliver them with mighty military victories like the judges and king David did.  What they got was a prophet without miraculous power, for there is not one miracle credited to John, and then this Jesus of Nazareth, illegitimate son of Joseph, who had miraculous power, but no kingliness about Him as they were expecting.  He was no military genius and He was not calling Israel to rise up in arms against Rome.

What they were expecting was different from what confronted them, so that even when Jesus plainly told the crowds, not just the disciples, “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”[5]  A crowd, which had been seeing the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the lepers cleansed and the dead raised and had heard the Gospel preached, for this was the same crowd about which Jesus pointed out to John the Baptist’s disciples to “Go back and report to John what you hear and see.”[6]  So even though they had also been told ahead of time; when the prophet and the Christ did appear, they recognised neither of them because they were not what they were expecting.

In the same way now, Jesus has warned us of many ‘false Christs’ and ‘false prophets’ until the ultimate pair will appear, the false Christ and the false prophet, and Jesus has warned you, us, the elect, that they are capable, almost capable of deceiving the elect, if it were possible.[7]  As such, it is our responsibility to make that impossible, not because we say so, but because the Holy Spirit would make it so, so that we are able to take our stand.  See that they are able to perform great signs and miracles, and if they are false Christs and false prophets, it means they will have a false message as well, that is, they will have a false gospel.

The traits of a false prophet are relatively simple to recognise, or should be for you.  Aside from the obvious that what they prophesy does not happen, the other trait is that what they prophesy does happen, even confirmed with signs and wonders, but their message will lead people to worship other gods, even if those gods are cleverly disguised as saints who have died.  Another trait is that their message will change, that is, from initially misleading people to worship false gods to the imminent arrival of the Christ in order to prepare the way for the ‘Christ’ to come, so that when he appears saying, “I am the Christ,”[8] his audience has been primed and made ready for the deception.

Elect, your safeguard is that we are not expecting the return of the Christ, not even Jesus Christ, but in the words of Jesus Himself, “the Son of Man”.  You see, false Christs will not say they are the sons of man, because being a son of man means you are just another man, and not a Christ, and therefore have no godlike status.  They may even go as far as claiming to be the ‘Son of God’.  For, Jesus only ever said that it is “the sign of the Son of Man that will appear in the sky,” and they will “see the son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”[9]  And it is “the Son of Man who will sit on His throne in Heavenly glory.”[10]

So the safeguard against deception then lies in knowing the Life of the Son of Man, not the Life of the Son of God, for the miraculous powerful life with great signs and wonders, confirming a message of good news is how the false prophet and the false Christ will deceive many.  But elect, we are not going to Jerusalem to protect the Mount of Olives for the Son of God to come, but for the Son of Man to come.  So then, knowing the Life of the Son of Man is the safeguard against the deception.

What do we know of the Life of the Son of Man?  It is:

1.     A life of sorrow, suffering and rejection, cursed by all and deserted by His disciples.  It was not a life of popularity, peace or prosperity.  Even though there was miraculous power to prevent the sorrow, suffering and rejection, that power was withheld for a specific time and purpose.  The Son of Man took no opportunity to defend Himself even when He could.  The false Christ will use his miraculous power to not only defend himself, but use it to ensure his life is one of popularity, peace and personal prosperity.

Unlike Jesus who shunned His own mother and brothers during His life as the Son of God, but turned His attention to Mary the mother during His time as the Son of Man,[11] the false Christ will be entrenched with his family during the good times and forsake his family at the moment of his defeat.  See that Jesus did not ask for Mary’s help, but rather provided for Mary.  Again, false Christs will turn to their families for their support during the hard times, rather than be the source of their family’s strength during their hard time.

2.     A life of personal need and sense of being forsaken by God.  The Life of the Son of Man does not evoke a sense of righteousness with God, but rather a life that is cursed by God’s word and lived in dreadful darkness of being separated from God.  He made no claim of closeness to God at all.

The false Christ and prophet will always proclaim a sense of closeness and righteousness with God and that his ability to do signs and wonders is proof of that righteousness—always living the life of the son of God in order to deceive.  It is then no wonder that the true apostles of Jesus Christ are put at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena,[12] whilst the false Christ’s apostles will be like men leading the procession to the victory banquet.

3.     Their relationship with fellow men will always betray the false ones—unforgiveness is their hallmark, so that instead of forgiving those who oppose them, they will fight against those who oppose them, even putting them to death. 

Compare that with the Son of God who said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,”[13] when He laid down His Life as the Son of God to live the Life of the Son of Man. 

More telling will be the false Christ’s and his prophet’s reaction to those who are beside them.  When the two thieves were cursing Jesus, Jesus made no reply.  But when the one thief called Him, “Lord,” Jesus gave him the promise to be in Paradise freely, without asking that man to repent or to do some good deeds or pay a price of sacrifice.  He immediately said, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”[14]  The seven sayings of Jesus, the Son of Man, on the cross, hold the key to the overcoming of the deception of the false Christ and his prophet. 

Compare the Life of the Son of Man on the cross with the life that the false Christ will have as described in Daniel:  “The king will do as he pleases.  He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.  He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.  He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.  Instead of them, he will honour a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honour with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.  He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honour those who acknowledge him.  He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.”[15]

Compare that with Jesus who:

1.     Only did what the Father showed Him.

2.     Only came here to bring glory to the Father and not to Himself; and with the Holy Spirit who is here to bring glory to Jesus and not Himself.

3.     Spoke things only for the God of gods, not against Him.

4.     Fulfilled the law of His fathers and upheld that law so that not the least stroke would disappear from it until Heaven and Earth disappear.

5.     Came to be Servant and to serve.

6.     Honours only the Father who sent Him, God known to the Israelites and his ‘father’ David.

7.     Submitted Himself to the Roman ruler and refused Pilate’s offer of help.

8.     Although He will honour those who acknowledge Him and make them rulers, He does not distribute the land, that is, the estates, for a price but for free, so that even the thief received it for free.

Whereas the false Christ will entrench buying and selling with the introduction of his now infamous ‘mark of the beast’, the real Christ will only advocate buying so that those who bought may give away freely what they bought.  The real system is buying and giving, not buying and selling.

That is why Jesus said to the Laodicean church, “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich…”[16]  For those who are really rich can afford to give away the treasures they bought at great price.  Those who think they are rich but are actually poor, are those who must hoard what they buy in order to sell it at a handsome profit.  That is why it is written in the Proverbs:  Buy the truth and do not sell it…[17] 

It is of course the revelation of his penchant for buying and selling, and therefore his desire to protect the Canaanites, the merchants that will betray the false Christ.  But by then, it will be too late even for the elect of Jesus who have been deceived by him.  For those who can be deceived by those who call themselves “the Christ” are those who seek to have someone else provide them with the miraculous power from God to heal them and do the miracles for them, whilst they themselves will not pay the price of drawing near to Jesus to hear what He has to say and to practise His words as a man would practise to win a race.

Those who will be deceived are like the Israelites of the first generation who said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen.  But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”[18]  They would rather live than draw nearer to God, and they were happy to get their news from God second hand.  Everyone of that generation missed out on the Promised Land and died in the desert except Caleb and Joshua.  The ten spies who believed what they saw, rather than what God had told them beforehand, were also amongst that generation.

Likewise, those who are of the church, who prefer to have a man of God speak to them rather than God Himself directly, as God the Holy Spirit was directed to do so by God the Son who was sent from God the Father, are the ones who can be and will be deceived.  Those who love to have a greatly anointed man of God to minister in the powerful anointing, rather than spend their time listening to Jesus personally and practising His words personally, diligently, are the most gullible and most deceivable.  You see, just as the people love fast food and convenience, so most of the church loves fast and convenient miracles and words from God.

And well-meaning men of God perpetuate this behaviour when they set themselves apart to be the ‘Moses’ who goes up the Mountain of God to bring the word of God back to their people, without teaching each and everyone of them that they too must personally hear God, and they must each be personally responsible for doing the miracles in their own lives.  If all Israel had come forward and said to Moses, “Let God speak to us Himself and we will listen,” Moses would have had a much easier job, and they would have entered the Promised Land themselves.

Even as we now reach out to as many as who will listen to prepare for what is to come at the appearing of the false Christ and his prophet, it will be our work and duty then to do what Jesus commanded Peter to do more so than any other time.  As Jesus said, “Feed My lambs…  Take care of My sheep…  Feed My sheep.”[19]  For that is when the people will really need shepherds who understand and know their God to protect them so that not one who is not destined for destruction is lost during those days of distress.

And how shall we do it?  With the powers of the age to come of course, even as we eagerly await the arrival of the Son of Man, the True Christ, the True Messiah, the True Kinsman Redeemer who buys back what was lost in order to give it freely back to His Kinsman.

That is the definition of the True Christ, the True Messiah, the True Redeemer, He who goes and redeems the property by buying it from those it was sold to and giving it back to His kinsmen who sold it for free.  The false Christ, the false Messiah, is he who will purchase what was sold only to sell it to his kinsmen for a profit, and if his kinsmen cannot pay, he will make slaves of them.

See the Lord is true, He has told us ahead of time.  Even though the power of the Holy Spirit will permit us to live the Life of the Son of God, it is also to prepare us to greet the Son of Man when He arrives.  The True Christ, the True Messiah, the True Kinsman Redeemer of mankind is the Son of Man, He who purchased men and women from all the nations with His blood, so that He may give them the kingdom God has prepared for them, for free.   Amen

[1] Matthew 24:21-25

[2] Malachi 4:5

[3] John 1:19-21

[4] Deuteronomy 18:18

[5] Matthew 11:7, 14

[6] Matthew 11:4

[7] Matthew 24:24

[8] Matthew 24:5

[9] Matthew 24:30

[10] Matthew 25:31

[11] John 19:26-27

[12] 1 Corinthians 4:9

[13] Luke 23:34

[14] Luke 23:43

[15] Daniel 11:36-39

[16] Revelation 3:18

[17] Proverbs 23:23

[18] Exodus 20:18

[19] John 20:15,16,17


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