Motivational Monday-This is Your Sign, Part 1
The world around is falling away and so many hearts are full of fear. Is there any hope? I give a resounding, “YES!” to that question. As requested, we will begin including more information for our spiritual health.
While the news cast and internet are full of reports of natural disasters, unnatural deaths, and pandemics, people everywhere are asking, what is going on?
Yet there is hope and a promise that we can read in the Good Book of Wisdom, “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3.
Just as everything else has happened in Daniel chapter two just as God said, as we discovered in What’s Next, “the Stone Kingdom” will also be established and Jesus will come to take His people to His home in Heaven just as He has promised!
In Daniel chapter two, God foretold the history of the world perfectly. But He didn’t stop there, He also gave His disciples and us specific signs to watch for regarding the nearness of His return.
The disciples heard the rebukes of Jesus toward the church leaders and His declaration as He left the temple for the last time, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (See Matthew 23). Previously they had heard Him say, “Destroy this temple, and in three day I will raise it up.” John 2:19. The disciples were consciously disturbed and perplexed by the words of Jesus. The temple was the most revered and honored building in Jerusalem, and thus they questioned the meaning of Jesus’ words. Thankfully, they came to Him with their weighty questions.
We will pick up the story in Mathew 24:1-3: “And Jesus went out and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto 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?” The disciples concluded something as terrible as the destruction of the temple must mean the end of the world. The disciples thought they were asking only one question, but in reality, they had asked three: “when will the temple be destroyed?”, “what shall be the signs of Your coming?” and “when is the end of the world?”
Jesus mercifully answers their questions as one. Jesus’ first concern is found in Matthew 24:4: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you." The first thing Jesus warns about is being deceived concerning the events leading up to His return. Jesus does not want us to be deceived and He comes back to this point three times in Matthew 24.
Matthew 24:5: “For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Jesus first warns against those who profess to be believers but teach a false or different doctrine (contrary to the teachings of Jesus and Scripture). Earlier He had referred to these as “wolves in sheep skin” (Matthew 7:15). These individuals and/or entities are testifying that Jesus is the Christ, yet have a slightly different twist, and thus are extremely deceptive. They will seem so close to the truth; it will be hard to detect error unless we know the Scriptures. Corruption from within is very subtle (consider the serpent in the garden and Judas among the disciples). Paul speaks very pointedly regarding these individuals in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 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.”
Jesus gives us a tool for discernment, telling us we shall know them “by their fruits” (Matthew 12:33-35), that is, by their labors; what they do, say, act, and teach. The Word of God is the measuring rod for discernment and will expose such teachers. We are told, “To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. We encourage you to study the Word of God to know what the Word says so you will know whether someone is “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) or is a counterfeit whim.
Christ gives a second warning regarding deception found in Matthew 24:11: “And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many.” A prophet of God cannot in any particular contradict what the Word of God already says. We have an example of this in 1 Kings 13. The context is found in chapter 12. King Solomon has died and his son, Rehoboam is to be crowned king in his stead. The people come to Rehoboam and ask that he lighten their burdens (taxes). The King responds that he will increase their burdens, and there is a split in the nation of Israel. Jeroboam became king of Israel and Rehoboam was king of Judah. But Jeroboam rebelled against God. Therefore, God sent a prophet to Jeroboam. God told the prophet to go give the message and to return home a different way, do not to eat or drink. And he did as instructed, until an old man chased him down and invited him to return to his home and eat with him, saying, “I am a prophet also; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.” (1 Kings 13:18). The prophet was persuaded and believed the old “prophet” and did not consult God but returned with the old “prophet” and ate and drank and then headed home again. But in the way, he was met by a lion that killed him.
Just because someone claims to be a prophet, and just because some of their prophecies come true, does not make them a true prophet of God. If they prophesy contrary to the Word of God, they are a false prophet. As we read earlier in Isaiah 8:20 a prophet must prophesy in total agreement with the Word (the law and the testimony). If they do not, we know they are not sent by Jesus Christ.
Are there individuals who claim to be modern day prophets or messengers of God? Indeed, prophets are becoming very popular. Can any of them be true? The Bible gives many ways we can test if a professed prophet is true or false:
Does the prophet uphold the Word of God or contradict it? (Isaiah 8:20)
Do the prophecies the prophet foretells come to pass? (Jeremiah 28:9).
Does the prophet point you to proper worship for God and love of the Scriptures to obey God? (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).
Does the prophet declare Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God? (1 John 4:1-2).
The prophet will have visions and dreams. (Numbers 12:6).
Physical signs of a true prophet in vision: initially will lose physical strength (Daniel 10:8), may later receive supernatural strength (Daniel 10:18, 19), no breath in the body/does not breathe (Daniel 10:17), able to speak (Daniel 10:16), not aware of earthly surroundings (Daniel 10:5–8; 2 Corinthians 12:2–4), eyes will be open (Numbers 24:4). These six Bible points provide the physical evidences of a true prophet in vision; not all of them always appear together. A prophet’s vision may be genuine without manifesting all six evidences at once.
Christ’s third warning regarding deception is found in Matthew 24:24-25: “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. Behold, I have told you before.” For the third time Jesus warns against deception by false prophets and now also false “christs”. Did you know there is a myriad of people professing to be Christ or God on earth and millions, even billions, of people are actually following them?
You can find a List of people claimed to be Jesus - Wikipedia.
Christ warns us about false prophets and false “christs” three times in one chapter (Matthew 24) and many times throughout the Bible. And this is becoming more and more frequent.
What else did Jesus say would become more intense and frequent as we near the end of time? Stay tuned to find out next Monday as we continue “This is Your Sign, Part 2.”
Would you like to learn more about God?
Join us Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm CT at
Abundant Health Wellness Center, 240 Huntsville Rd., Eureka Springs, AR 72632