Scriptures: Matthew 24:4-5, John 5:43, Matthew 24:11, Matthew 23-27, John 14:7-9
Matthew 24 tells us that there will be four signs of the end of the age: great spiritual deception, political unrest, natural disasters and religious persecution. This Week's Word will focus on the first: great spiritual deception.
Jesus said: "Take heed that no man deceive you...many shall come in my name." We need to understand what it means to "come in my name." "To come in His name" means that someone is presenting themselves as a co-equal with Jesus claiming that their teachings hold the same authority and result as truth. When truly truth resides only in the salvation message found through the death, burial and ressurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life," and He is the only way to salvation.
In Matthew 24:11 the Word tells us that there will be many "false prophets." How do we recognize false prophets and keep ourselves from deception?
False prophets will always elevate themselves! They will have nice sounding messages, a "health and wealth gospel."
Secondly ,their message will contradict God's words, never fully aligning with truth. They will offer blessings without commitment or sacrifice.
Finally, their message will deny the deity of Jesus. When we know that Jesus is the visible and tangible image of the invisible God. He is the complete revelation of God.
The Word prepares us for this great spiritual deception and if we keep our eyes on Christ and aligned to His Word, we will surely be rewarded!
Check back next Thursday for the lesson on political unrest, the second sign of the end times.