Urgent Warning

The Discourse of Jesus given on the Mount of Olives includes instructions for his disciples about the future. He warned of the “many deceivers” and “false prophets” who would appear among his followers, spreading false information about his return and otherwise striving to mislead “the Elect.” Constant vigilance was vital to avoid deception and apostasy.

He began with the warning: “Beware lest anyone deceive you.” Liars and charlatans would come in his name and “deceive MANY.” Likewise, “MANY false prophets” would come, not just a few, and target the “Elect” of God with false teachings and lies. His stress was on the term “many” - (Matthew 24:4-11, 24:23-24, 24:26).

Twilight Photo by Bowen Chin on Unsplash
[Twilight Photo by Bowen Chin on Unsplash]

The contents of this deceptive teaching include false information about the return of the “
Son of Man.” False prophets claim he “is here” or “there,” or that he is “in the wilderness” or “in the secret chambers.” Some of them set false expectations about the imminence of his return by claiming the “season is near” - (Matthew 24:23-26, Luke 21:8).

Disciples will “hear of wars and reports of wars,” and deceivers will point to conflicts between nations, earthquakes, and similar calamities, both natural and manmade, as “signs” of the rapidly approaching “end.”

However, wars, seismic activities, and famines occur with regularity. They are NOT indicators of his imminent return. They are no more than “birth pains,” evidence of the inevitable end of the present age.

Nevertheless, the “end is not yet.” Such repeated and regular events cannot be used to calculate the timing of the end. Nor did Jesus say their frequency and intensity would increase in the “last days” - (Matthew 24:4-6).

TIMES AND SEASONS


He warned us that “no one knows the day and hour, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, except the Father alone.” For emphasis, he ended this saying with the term “alone.” The Father is the only exception to the rule, period.

He repeated this warning several times in his Discourse. He stated that we could not know “on what kind of day” he would arrive since he was coming “at an hour you do not expect.” The version of this saying found in Mark adds that his followers did not know “when the SEASON is” - (Matthew 24:42-44, 24:50, 25:13, Mark 13:32-35).

Jesus warned us about this just before his Ascension. The disciples asked when he would restore the kingdom. He replied, “It is NOT for you to know TIMES or SEASONS, which the Father has put in His authority.” The Greek nouns translated as “times” and “seasons” are plural, and together, they cover any way we may wish to delimit time - (Acts 1:7-8).

Rather than calculate chronologies and timetables, we must concern ourselves with proclaiming the Gospel to all nations, not decoding future chronologies. Thus, he commanded his disciples to wait until they received the Spirit, then they would become his witnesses to the “uttermost parts of the Earth.” In the meantime, we must remain vigilant and prepared for his sudden arrival - (Matthew 24:14, 24:42-44, 25:13, Mark 13:32-36).

The ‘Olivet Discourse’ does not provide timetables by which we may ascertain the timing of his arrival in glory. However, it does present emphatic warnings about deceivers who will plague his assemblies. That reality will continue for the entire period between his Resurrection and his arrival “on the Clouds of Heaven.” Therefore, “Beware lest anyone deceives you!



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Coming Tempest - (The New Testament warns of a future apostasy caused by deceivers and the Lawless One who will appear before the Day of the Lord)
  • Seated in the Sanctuary - (The Man of Lawlessness will be unveiled when he seats himself in the House of God - 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
  • The Apostasy - (Paul warned the Thessalonians of the future apostasy which he linked to the unveiling of the Man of Lawlessness, the Son of Destruction)

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