Matthew Chapter 24
VERSE 25-27 continued, “See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the bright-shiner [the Sun] cometh out of the East, but shines even unto the West, so shall the presence of the Son of Man be."
"Some time back in Detroit a vision of Mary appeared on the side of a Protestant church. Mary appeared weeping and the vision lasted intermittently over a period of several weeks. People kept vigil night after night outside the church from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. “Mary” wept in connection with future events. The brethren in that area had good opportunities to witness. An emergency tract was prepared, and for a while they held meetings near the location.
The possibility of an “angel from heaven” appearing is also brought out in Gal 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that, which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” The suggestion is that an angel will appear as a guide, as Christ, but the appearance will be identified as a deception because of the preaching of another gospel (the truth being distorted in some form or fashion).
The Little Flock will not be deceived at all. However, the Great Company (the tribulation saints) will be momentarily deceived and then subsequently enlightened by the activities of that supernatural power. In other words, that supernatural power will produce certain effects or results, and when those results are seen to be negative and out of harmony with the Scriptures, then those of the consecrated not as thoroughly grounded in truth will understand—but NOT INITIALLY. The deception will be so powerful that ALL will be deceived except the Very Elect.
This Scripture in Galatians suggests the possibility of Satan himself coming and being mistaken for Jesus. We are not to marvel if “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Moreover, of Jesus it is said, “Whose coming [presence] is after [during, alongside of, or accompanied by] the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess 2:9, 10).
The Greek word kata, translated “after,” has two basic meanings: “during” and “alongside of.” In other words, the Adversary is operating during or alongside of Jesus’ presence. Stated another way, two opposing forces, Christ and the Adversary, are operating contemporaneously but separately. The Second Volume explains this Scripture along one line and gives an excellent translation based on the Greek. Other translations do not catch the exact thought because the translators did not expect Jesus to be an invisible being at his Second Advent. The point is that Satan will be involved in the Lord’s Second Advent in a very dramatic fashion with all power, all manner of lying signs and wonders, and great delusions and deceptive power.
2 Thess 2:11, 12 is also good: “And for this cause God shall send [permit] them strong delusion [a frenzy of delusion, a working of error], that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned [condemned] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness [in error, falsehoods].” This text brings us down to the end of the age and also shows that even among the consecrated; those who are reckoned as being unfaithful (and thus will go into Second Death) will believe a lie and thus be condemned.
In the Old Testament there is evidence that Satan will be personally involved in the deception. Isa 14:16, 17 reads, “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (The Revised Standard Version is especially good for Isa 14:12–20.) In the beginning of the Kingdom, the world will be appraised of Satan’s influence in order that it can be contradicted. Psa 52:7 is related: “Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.” (See also Psa 52:1–6). The inference is not just that Satan will deceive but that he will be the embodiment of that deception (2 Thess 2:9). He will pose as an angel of light in a special sense, as it were, coming down from heaven.
Verses 23–26 suggest that there will be multiple deceptions. Notice the plural words: false Christs, false prophets, great signs and wonders, and deceptions in both the desert and secret chambers.
For example, some may be deceived by a supposed appearance of aliens from another planet. But the capping deception—the deception to supersede all others—will be the one by Satan himself. Down through the Gospel Age, Satan has used many forms to deceive those groping after God. To the intellectual class, he appears in one manner, to the superstitious he appears in another manner (weeping icons, for instance), to the irreligious he uses the Ouija board, etc. (Incidentally, the Ouija board is a very powerful deception, for it leads step by step until one is deeply entrapped with occult powers.)
If we knew all of the particulars of the coming deceptions in advance, they would lose some of their powers. However, it helps to consider all possibilities. For one thing, we must know the true manner of our Lord’s Second Advent—that it is INVISIBLE and that when the Kingdom comes, the Church will be glorified and with Jesus. Consider again the warning of Jesus as recorded in Matt 24:25 again (“Behold, I have told you BEFORE”) and that likewise in Mark 13:23 (“But TAKE YE HEED: behold, I have FORETOLD YOU ALL things”).
We continue once again with our next post.
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