Two weeks ago, I started a 5-part series on how to avoid deception in these last days. This has been a personal quest for me because I truly believe many many Christians will be deceived by the anti-christ and events that will take place toward the end of the age. The Bible, both Old Testament and New are FULL of warnings against deception. If you think you're immune, you are in grave danger.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Matt 24:4
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. Matt 24:24
The first thing we must do to arm ourselves against deception is to Know God. The second is to know His Word. If you missed those posts and are interested, here are the links: Know God Know His Word.
Did you know that over 25% of the Bible is Prophecy? Check out these statistics:
- Every fourth verse in the Scripture deals with prophecy.
- The coming of the Lord is a truth of such importance that it is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the NT (on an average of once every 25 verses).
- The only subject mentioned more frequently than the second coming is the subject of salvation.
- Paul mentioned the communion ordinance only twice in his 13 epistles and baptism only 13 times, but he mentions the return of our Lord 50 times!
Yet most of the Western church ignores prophecy. I can honestly say that I have only heard a sermon on prophecy in a church here in California once, and that was a guest speaker. Before that, I was blessed to have attended briefly a church in Fort Lauderdale when I was a teenager that often spoke of prophecy. If you know my testimony, you know that prophecy is what brought me to Jesus, so you could say that it holds a very special place in my heart. There is a reason God put so much prophecy in the Scriptures. The main reason, I believe, is to prove He is God! For who else but God knows the future?
“I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to anyone else,
nor share my praise with carved idols.
Everything I prophesied has come true,
and now I will prophesy again.
I will tell you the future before it happens.”
Isaiah 42: 8-10
So, here's my point. If God has taken the time to put so much prophecy in the Bible about the future, don't you think we ought to study it back and forth, inside and out, so that we know as well as we can what is going to happen?
Why? You might say. Who cares? It will happen anyway. Yes. Very true. But knowing what will happen will keep you from being tricked into believing the wrong thing. Jesus Himself gave the best example of this in Matthew 24 where he warned His disciples not to be deceived about His second coming.
So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
So, now we know that we should not believe reports of anyone claiming that Jesus has returned and is in New York or in the Alps or sailing in the Mediterranean! Now, we know what to look for!
The Apostle Paul had to comfort the church of Thessalonica because they thought they'd missed the rapture! Can you imagine? Sounds like they had heard something from another church or in a letter that they missed the boat. So Paul had to reassure them with this prophecy--which really helps us to know what to look for too!
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Other things prophecy can tell us
- What EXACT signs precede Jesus's coming
- What the culture will look like toward the end of the age
- What things must happen first before the rapture
- That there will be MANY false prophets and how to spot them
- What does the final empire look like, how many rulers, etc?
- How should Christians expect to be treated?
- What are the attributes and characteristics of the antichrist?
- What will the antichrist do that will reveal his true character?
- What will the church look like toward the end of the age
- What will be the mark of true believers
- What natural disasters to expect
- Will there be more wars?
- What cities will be destroyed?
- What will the one world religion look like?
- Who are the two witnesses and how will we know them?
- What signs should we look for in the heavens?
These are just a few of the things prophecy tells us! Imagine if you were armed with all that information, you would see things happening all around you and know the end is near. Also, you would not be easily deceived by any of satan's tricks, because you already know what to look for in the antichrist. The Scripture says most of the world will be deceived by him. Most. And even some Christians. Why? Because they won't know prophecy and they won't be able to spot him when he appears. Sounds to me like he's going to be a pretty convincing dude.