Commentary By: Gordon King
Deception is a major theme which denotes the last days, the end times. I write a lot about deception, about being deceived, and about the deception of those not staying close to the Lord. Jesus told us three times in Matthew 24 (Olivet Discourse) not to be deceived.
‘And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” ‘
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.“
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.“
The apostle Paul also speaks about deception in the end times.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.“
Just what Day is the apostle Paul speaking about? We merely have to read the preceding passages to know.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.“
The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, the day of Christ!
The apostle Paul speaks about the rapture of the church in his preceding letter to the church. He wrote the second letter to tell them not to be deceived, that the rapture will not happen until the falling away comes first and then the Antichrist has been revealed.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.“
The falling away represents the deception of many believers who have fallen away from the faith. Could this be true? Will there be a great falling away before the Antichrist is revealed? That seems to be what the apostle Paul is telling us.
1 Timothy 4:1-2
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,“
Luke also tells us that there are those not grounded on the rock who will fall away.
“But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.”
I believe that there will be a time coming soon in which those who claim to be Christians but are not born again will fall away from the faith. And this is what I believe the apostle Paul is speaking about in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
There are those who go to church regularly, who tithe, and do good works, yet they have not been saved. I do not believe that a truly saved Christian can lose their salvation, however they can be deceived, and they can believe lies!
Perhaps Paul was also speaking about true believers who fall away from the faith by believing lies, by believing that there is more than one way to heaven, or that we all worship the same God. My question would then be: “Were they truly saved in the first place?”
I do know that there will be many who listen to false prophets, to doctrines of demons, who believe false teachings because they desire to soothe itching ears. They have been given over to deceiving spirits and follow a path leading away from God!
This is a time of great deception, a time when what may seem true is a lie, when angels of light seem to be from God yet are actually demonic spirits! This is the time when we must remain faithful and true to our Lord and Savior, when the truth of God really matters.
As children of God we will endure hard times, we will suffer persecution, and the world will hate us! We have become sheep for the slaughter.
‘As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” ‘
Knowing this we must also remember that what awaits us is greater than anything we have ever known, that our suffering is but a wisp of air in the wind compared to our eternal destiny with God Almighty!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.“
We are children of the Most High God of the universe, Jesus Christ, Yahweh! He is ours and we are His, and nothing can separate us from His great love!
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.“
God bless my friends! Maranatha!