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Read Introduction to Matthew

 

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

 

World conditions during the Tribulation will be so awful that men will question where relief will come.

24:23

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.

False prophets claiming to be the Messiah will rise up in great numbers during the crisis of the latter half of the Tribulation. The crisis will afford an opportunity for fakers to deceive many. Propaganda will be pervasive during this period; many will be suckers for this campaign.

24:24

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Phony prophets will deceive believers with “signs and wonders.” Miracles can have satanic or divine origin (2 Th 2:9,10). Just because people perform miracles is no guarantee that the executor of the miracle is from God. False prophets design “signs and wonders” to deceive the elect, and miracles in themselves are no proof of authenticity. Some people put more trust in miracles than they do the Word of God.

24:25

See, I have told you beforehand.

Jesus spoke a warning prophetically across the future; He’d previously warned His disciples about this.

24:26

Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

It is particularly important during the last half of the Tribulation to beware of all claims about the Messiah. How will believers know whether the Messiah has come? The coming of Christ will not appear in secret rooms. The answer is in the next verse.

24:27

For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The coming of the Lord will be an unmistakable and splendid event. That event will be like lightning—sudden, unmistakable, universal, and visible to all. It will be a striking public event (Re 1:7). Lightening is a public event evident to all. Christ’s Second Coming will have special meaning for Israel because this event will be the launch of the Messianic kingdom. Jesus will finally defeat the Gentiles (Zech 12:9-14).

24:28

For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles [vultures, not eagles] will be gathered together.

The “carcass” is indication of physical corruption. Vultures will eat these decaying bodies. The carcass here is apostate Israel. This passage may allude to the battle of Armageddon.

PRINCIPLE:

God takes care of His servants in doctrinal distress.

APPLICATION:

Satan will deceive the elect in the future and he is in the business of deceiving presently. The sure defense against doctrinal deception is the Word of God. It is the only sure stability against a world of lies.

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