False Messiahs and False Prophets in the First Century

FALSE MESSIAHS and FALSE PROPHETS

Luke 21:8
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Y’shua is here teaching his disciples that in the days and years to come, there would be a severe element of deception that would be pervasive among his people due to the imminence of the kingdom.

If we look at a parallel passage in Matthew, it reads similarly but focuses also on the deception that would be prevalent in those days.

Matthew 24:4-5
And Jesus answering said to them, ‘Take heed that no one may lead you astray, for many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and they shall lead many astray,

Matthew 24:24
for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and they shall give great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, also the chosen.

Mark 13:22
for there shall rise false Christs and false prophets, and they shall give signs and wonders, to seduce, if possible, also the chosen;

The fact that these false individuals would be coming in his name could mean that they would be false believers, or that they would be claiming to be Messiahs themselves. We see examples of both of these in the NT writings.

Acts 5:36-37
For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, [even] as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

Acts 8:9-10
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

As we can see, false teachers and unfaithful brethren intent on deception were rampant in the first century. The believers had to stay close to one another to ensure their pure doctrine was maintained until the end, when it would be handed off to another generation.

2 Corinthians 11:26
journeyings many times, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from kindred, perils from nations, perils in city, perils in wilderness, perils in sea, perils among false brethren;

Galatians 2:4
and [that] because of the false brethren brought in unawares, who did come in privily to spy out our liberty that we have in Christ Jesus, that us they might bring under bondage,

Acts 13:6
and having gone through the island unto Paphos, they found a certain magian, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [is] Bar-Jesus;

2 Corinthians 11:13
for those such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ,

2 Peter 2:1
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Luke 21:8
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Matthew 24:24
for there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and they shall give great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, also the chosen.

We don’t have to look to two thousand years removed from these prophecies spoken by the Messiah to find their fulfillment. The generation that existed between the death of Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem saw the very fulfillment of these things coming to pass before their eyes. It is recorded all throughout the New Testament if we simply view familiar passages like these with open hearts and minds to see it written there.

In our next video, we will explore the “wars and commotions” that were taking place in the first century as fulfillment of Y’shua’s prophecy in Luke 21:9.

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