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Days of Deception

As Jesus approached the events surrounding his arrest, trial and crucifixion, he engaged in a lengthy discourse delivered in the temple to “the multitudes, and to his disciples” (Matthew 23:1). Chapter 23 consists of the exposure and scathing denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy, for which Jesus issued eight “Woes!” to warn them of their spiritual peril. He wrapped up his “Woes!” with a piercing question:” Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (23:33). Answer: It is IMPOSSIBLE that such deep-seated hypocrisy should escape the worst judgment in God’s arsenal of justice!

In Chapter 24, Jesus left the temple and, in response to his disciples’ inquiry, shifted focus to the final days. They asked: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (24:3). In his response, Jesus issued this warning: “Take heed that no man DECEIVE you” (24:4). From that point, the theme of DECEPTION set the tone of the CONTEXT. Jesus continued: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I AM CHRIST; and shall DECEIVE many” (24:5). After describing many of the “sorrows” (24:8) that will ensue, he reiterates: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall DECEIVE many” (24:11).

Then came one of the most misinterpreted texts in scripture: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (24:13). The salvation in view is deliverance from DECEPTION for those who KNOW the TRUTH and endure (withstand) the LIES spread by false prophets. The text is NOT a contradiction of “Justification by Faith.” NOR is it a proof text for “Salvation by Works.” In the last days, salvation from DECEPTION will belong to them whose confidence in biblical TRUTH is rock solid, enabling them to ENDURE (weather, outlast) the LIES of false prophets.

Jesus adds:” For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders [authenticators]; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall DECEIVE the very elect” (24:24). The ONLY authenticator a true believer needs is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He can therefore dismiss ALL other forms of alleged authentication.

We are not yet in ‘the eye of the hurricane’ as Jesus predicted. But we're being pummeled by the ‘outer storm bands’ of DECEPTION that will continue to get worse and worse until the Antichrist, the ultimate DECEIVER, makes his historical appearance.

America at this hour is enslaved by all manner of DECEPTION. Our rejection of God and his TRUTH have made DECEPTION inevitable, national deliverance impossible! Perhaps the greatest DECEPTION sweeping America today is the belief that we’ll have a better nation when we have better politics, that somehow ‘America First’ can replace ‘Jesus First’, that embracing Trump is the same as embracing TRUTH. Nothing could be farther from the TRUTH! 

Blessed are they that look daily unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith, enabling them to ‘endure’ the onslaught of DECEPTION currently sweeping the nation. It’s debatable whether America is ‘Running on Dunkin’! But it’s undeniable America is ‘Living on Deception'!


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