Do Not be Deceived

Do Not be Deceived

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

What was the first warning sign Jesus described?

“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you’ ” (Matthew 24:3-4 Matthew 24:3-4 3 And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
American King James Version×
).

Jesus begins with a sobering warning: Do not allow yourself to be deceived! Many people are familiar with Jesus Christ’s Olivet Prophecy. They are aware of the events and conditions He described. Yet many don’t realize they have missed the first warning sign Jesus Christ gave. They have fallen prey to religious deception!

Will religious deception be widespread?

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5 Matthew 24:5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
American King James Version×
).

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11 Matthew 24:11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
American King James Version×
).

“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24 Matthew 24:24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
American King James Version×
).

Note the words Jesus used: “. . . Many will come . . . and will deceive many . . . Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many .” The Greek word polus , translated “many,” means “many, much, great” ( Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words , 1985, “Many”). This deception is clearly massive and widespread.

Be sure to study all these scriptures in your Bible. Read the words of Jesus Christ and the apostles when they warned of a great religious movement—invoking Christ’s name—that would lead most of the world astray. Tragically, most have ignored the warnings Jesus Himself gave. (To better understand how this great religious deception came about, be sure to request your free copy of the booklet The Church Jesus Built .)

Who is involved in this deception?

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13 2 Corinthians 11:13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
American King James Version×
).

Within only a few years after Jesus Christ’s death, people began to distort and misrepresent His message. When two decades had barely passed, the apostle Paul warned congregations about “false apostles,” telling them that he had already suffered at the hands of “false brethren” (2 Corinthians 11:13-26 2 Corinthians 11:13-26 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For you suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise. 20 For you suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. However, when ever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brothers;
American King James Version×
). These deceivers came in Christ’s name, but they led many astray with their distorted message.

Who is the real mastermind behind this worldwide deception?

“. . . Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
American King James Version×
).

What is the approach of this religious deception?

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.
American King James Version×
).

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7 Galatians 1:6-7 6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
American King James Version×
).

Jesus Christ predicted that some would take His name and claim to represent Him—but those same people would be deceivers. They would claim to be Christian but would bring a different message and a counterfeit Christianity.

In Paul’s day this movement was well under way. Some were already preaching “another Jesus” and “a different gospel.” Most churches in our time focus on a gospel about Christ while ignoring the focus of His teaching. Obscuring His intended message, they preach a gospel that is different from “the gospel of the kingdom of God” Jesus taught (Mark 1:14 Mark 1:14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
American King James Version×
). Be sure to request your free copy of the booklet The Gospel of the Kingdom to better understand this vital truth.

In spite of this deception, will the true gospel—the gospel of the Kingdom of God—also be proclaimed before Jesus Christ’s return?

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×
).