Category Archives: Deceivers

ANTICHRIST – FINAL INCARNATION

The “spirit of antichrist” is raising up deceivers within the church, though a final “antichrist” will also appear at the end of the age.

The only New Testament author who uses the term “antichrist” is John, and only in two of his letters. He applied it to “false prophets” who were active in his congregations, false brethren he charged with denying that “Jesus is the Christ” and had “come in the flesh.” Such men were of the “spirit of antichrist” that already was operating in the world in John’s day.

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TWO FINAL EVENTS

The New Testament warns several times of coming deceivers and apostasy in the days prior to the return of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul described two things that must occur before the “Day of the Lord” when Jesus will gather his elect – the “apostasy” and the “revelation of the man of lawlessness.” And in his second letter to the Thessalonians, the two events are inextricably linked, for the goal of the “lawless one” is to deceive believers.

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THE GREAT FALLING AWAY

The New Testament warns of the coming “apostasy” that will occur prior to the arrival of the “day of the Lord.”

To the Thessalonians, Paul explained that the “day of the Lord” will NOT commence until the “apostasy” occurs and the “man of lawlessness” is revealed, two events that are inextricably linked. And in his statement, Paul reiterated the warning found elsewhere in the New Testament about the “falling away” of many from the faith in the “last days.”

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FALSE APOSTLES AND NICOLAITANS

Deceivers within the seven congregations were encouraging believers to compromise with the idolatrous rites of pagan society.

One of the chief concerns in the seven letters to the churches of Asia is with deceivers that work within the congregations. While several groups and one individual are named, the net effect of all their efforts is to cause believers to “commit fornication and to eat food offered to idols.” In short, to induce idolatry and compromise with the surrounding society.

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WARS AND RUMORS

The Discourse opens with warnings about coming deceivers who propagate false expectations about the end Mark 13:5-13.

Jesus began his Olivet Discourse with an ominous warning about coming deceivers, men who will claim his authority and spread rumors about calamities, thereby “deceiving many.” This warning is repeated at pivotal points in the discourse. For example, prior to the coming of the Son of Man, “many false prophets will arise and deceive many,” including the employment of signs and wonders.

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