By Bob Barney-The Plain Truth
In Matthew 24 Jesus told His disciples of specific warnings pointing the way to His second coming, the end of the age of man, and the establishment of His kingdom on earth. He said to them: “Do you see all these buildings? Truly I say to you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!” As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will lead many astray.” (Mathew 24: 3-5 in The Plain Truth Red Letter “Original Order” Bible by Bob Barney.)
When Jesus said this, He was speaking as prophet, knowing what the future would be. He understood that not only would false messiah's appear on the world stage and false religions, like Islam, He here was speaking of a time when many would come using His name, saying Jesus is the Christ and deceive many. This is false Christianity, and not false pagan religions that He is speaking of here. Unfortunately, most Christians mistakenly assume that Jesus was predicting the arrival of impostors, claiming to be Him, as the Antichrist will. THIS IS NOT the warning here! He is warning us and His disciples about FALSE CHRISTIANITY masquerading as the real thing!
In fact, history informs us that many did come in His name claiming to represent Him, and making the claim that Jesus was the Christ and that He rose from the dead. These were false Christians, not part of the true church of God that deceived many in that very first century! Soon after Christ's ascension to heaven and the founding of the church in AD 31, another gospel began to be preached by false Christians, claiming to be from God, but were actually from Satan! In Galatians 1:6-7, we see they were already preaching a different gospel than Jesus' gospel of the kingdom of God. The apostle Paul also spoke of these false prophets preaching a different gospel in II Corinthians, the 11th chapter. To the church in the very first century, he wrote: “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For you happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
Do you read what Paul is saying? Already in his day, a false Christian church had arose, claiming that Jesus was the Messiah PREACHING A FALSE GOSPEL! Jesus, like Paul, was warning that we are to be on the lookout for false Christians preaching a false gospel in Jesus' name! John tells us “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Jesus Himself makes the same claim that people can worship Christ, LOVE HIM and believe on Him, and yet be of the Devil! It is right here in Matthew 7
Again from “The Plain Truth Red Letter Bible”:
Matthew 7:21-27: Not everyone who says to me, 'LORD, LORD,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will tell Me in that day, 'LORD, LORD, didn't we prophesy by Your Name, by Your Name cast out demons, and by Your Name do many mighty works?' Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work iniquity (who practice lawlessness).' Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock. Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not collapse, because its foundation was on rock. Everyone who hears My words, and doesn't do them is like like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell -- and great was its fall.”
This is a very tough line by Jesus Himself! Notice that confessing on Jesus, and saying that you 'believe on Him' means NOTHING for our salvation! In fact, He goes on to say that many who do miracles and 'love the Lord' will be sent away from Jesus during the first judgment day! Notice that churches do not teach this verse very often, because Jesus plainly states that one must believe and OBEY! Obeying means to follow the Law of God.
The true Church of God, the one that Jesus founded upon Himself, follows the Laws of God.... The Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath Day, and rejects Sunday worship, and the false gospel that Jesus came away to take away the Law (lawlessness). He did nothing of the sort!
Friends, these are quotes from the Bible. Yes, they are in my translated words, but look up the same verses in your Bibles and see if my modern english translation varies much from what all experts agree are the words Jesus and the New Testament writers wrote down in the first century. It is time that you begin to read the words ON THE PAGE and not listen to the words from some theologian or minister – they could be the same ones Jesus was warning you about in Matthew 24!