When the LORD Jesus opened His mouth to speak about the last days, the very first words that He spoke was about the destruction (or disintegration) of that which man builds and a warning to avoid the prevailing deception that will mark the end of the age. (Matthew 24:1-5, Mark 13:1-6, Luke 21:5-8).
Whenever we ignore the words of the LORD, we do so at our own peril. At the time when the disciples asked the question, the Temple in Jerusalem had been greatly expanded by Herod (it took over 80 years to renovate from around 19 BC – 63 AD), having been previously rebuilt by those who left Babylon 500 years earlier, led by Ezra and Zerrubabel.
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1-2
This statement of our LORD sets before us a clear principle. Whatever is built of man, by man, and for man has only one destiny: destruction. Even when it is a Temple commanded by God to be built in that dispensation, once the leaders of the people rejected the Messiah, and refused to allow the only One who can build His house to build it, He left it unto them desolate (Matthew 23:38).
Desolate: abandonment, neglect, dilapidated, barren, lifeless, deserted (Merriam Webster’s). The LORD leaving it desolate therefore means, leaving the Temple lifeless, barren and deserted of His Presence. Which means all the elaborate Levitical ministry was from that point emptied of whatever LIFE may be in it, because they rejected their very LIFE (Christ).
Will your building abide the coming of the LORD?
This building is first of all your life, then by extension, your family; and for those with added responsibility for the church, it is the work of God (that is, God’s people).
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it…” Psalm 127:1
“…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
‘Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss…” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
It is very important for all of us who are builders in God’s work to check how much space we have given to the LORD Jesus in the work we are doing. Brothers, Sisters, Preachers, Christian leaders, regardless of what part of God’s Word we specialize in teaching, if Christ is not allowed to be ALL IN ALL, if we hold to certain unscriptural human traditions, if we refuse to fully implement the New Covenant in our works by clinging vigorously to that which is decaying and vanishing away (Hebrews 8:13), and if Christ is not formed in the people we are raising (Galatians 4:19), we are also incurring upon ourselves the very desolation that came upon that Temple in Jerusalem.
In seven years, the newly expanded Temple had been dismantled, not one stone left upon another, by the Romans in AD 70. No matter how good your work is, in teaching many “good” things in the Bible, if you don’t allow the LORD to walk in the midst of that work as the Authentic Builder of His work, it cannot produce men that will escape the deception that is already gathering momentum in our generation. Such works only have “…a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:5). And the Holy Spirit concluded that instruction by asking us to turn away from such.
He is the One who can gather all His genuine saints together (Psalm 50:5, Matthew 23:37), but if we are adamant and deny Him access to work, then “…Ye shall not see me henceforth…” (Matthew 23:38). This is the necessary blindness required to make a people to fall victim of all kinds of demonic deceptions that will fall upon such a work.
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
When I look at what believers are debating about today, without taking any side at all, it is clear that we are not reading our Bibles like Berean Christians, and more terribly, a blindness has come upon our generation. The blindness that makes men to defend their leaders without actually reading the Word of God to discern the mind of God.
This blindness that is among us is what our brother Paul spoke about in 2 Thessalonians as the falling away or apostasy.
In fact, the act of always trying to defend men shows the quality of work that is being done among us in the body of Christ. Some of us were not raised like that. And I’m wondering what makes that difference? With all humility, it is Christ! Even when you are correct, what do you gain by defending your leaders or yourself, it can only ever put others, who may be similarly saved like you but only wrong on some of their beliefs, in permanent dispute with you.
In any case, if we have been teaching the whole counsel of God, the error of another man or ministry will not threaten us. The truth we have been living and teaching is already a rebuke to the false doctrine that may be gaining popularity around us. But today, we see that people are merely sentimental and hardly biblical in their response to anything that is different from what they’ve been used to hearing in their own circle of fellowship.
We should search the Scriptures primarily for our own need to know the LORD rather than trying to debate an “error”.
Will you escape the intense deception that will precede the LORD’s coming?
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:4-5,11-12
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let , until he be taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3,7
The disciples asked the LORD a critical question in Matthew 24. They asked “…when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (verse 3). That is, when will the destruction of the Temple take place and what will we see to know that you are ready to return and that the world is in the time (season) of the end?
While we have already noted that the physical destruction of the Temple already took place in AD 70, we must however note that the way the LORD answered that question raises a more serious matter with us all. It is that there is coming a level of deception that will make all previous deceptions a child’s play, and it is this deception that will introduce an eternal fault into the life, family, ministry of those who begin to build according to another foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). And this deception (that will lead to apostasy) will be the forerunner of the Antichrist.
You know, a kind of “advancement” will come upon a lot of church people, that will make sense, but it is a well calculated attack launched against the church to draw many away from standing on Christ the Solid Rock.
This is only “…the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). Which means, “… we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22). May the LORD give you understanding. AMEN.
Although the LORD said the end is not yet (the end meaning the actual terminating point of all things) [Matthew 24:6], but it is however the season of the end. This is based on His answer to the Matthew 24:3 question.
There are 2 ways I believe this deception is playing out:
1. Mild or quiet deception manifesting as an advancement in thinking, methodology and practice, publicly holding to the truth of God’s Word, but simultaneously adding human psychology, philosophy, and metaphysics, to the point that the message of the cross is replaced with humanism.
2. Outright deception manifesting as an open affront to the exclusiveness of Christ as the only expression of the True God and the only Way to Him, the denial (or satanic duplication) of the operation of the Holy Spirit, and extra-biblical documents raised to the same level of inspiration as the Word of God.
“Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [but diminishes or adds to the doctrine of Christ], do not receive or welcome him into your house, and do not give him a greeting or any encouragement; Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.”
2 John 1:9-11 MSG, AMP, NLT
The Day of Christ will not come unless there is a falling away first, after which the man of sin (the Antichrist) will be revealed (2:3). May you not take this for granted in the name of Jesus. AMEN. The Antichrist will be revealed only when there has been a falling away first. Falling away is the result or end goal of deception. I believe we are beginning to experience this falling away. The mystery of iniquity is already at work. This apostasy didn’t begin today. It has been on for a very long time, but what we are experiencing today seems to be very defining.
If you do a trial survey among “Christians”, you will find out that there are many who don’t believe Christ is the only way to God. Many have sympathized with other faiths and have a feeling of solidarity with them to the point of thinking that “we are all on different ends of the same mountain, and it doesn’t really matter the means, as long as you get to the mountain peak (which is allegedly god), you are OK”. As trivial as you may think this is, it will produce enough fault in the foundation of deceived believers to make them apostasize or fall away.
The principle at work here is this: anytime you make a concession to another belief system, you cannot only think they are God’s children according to their system without assimilating some of their own ideas that clearly queries the Word of God. It’s a give and take.
Are you sure you are ready for the LORD’s coming?
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
It is clear that there is a serious possibility ahead of us all to be caught unawares when the LORD descends from the Heaven. This will easily be the case for those who have staunchly taught a certain school of eschatology that is painfully discarded, as the final events of the last days unfold before our very eyes.
More than ever, it is very important for you to read your Bible, to compare scriptures with scriptures, and not merely join a school of thought. Most false doctrines have a clear takeoff point in history. And if you will read about the (contemporary) history of God’s people, you will easily “catch” the errors that are now “sanctified” as truth today among many Christians and churches.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5
The fact that many will be deceived does not mean most people are not sincere. But the truth is many are sincerely wrong. If the LORD warns about being deceived, I don’t think it is an “Intel” to take for granted. That is, there are so many things going on among professing Christians today that “…if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24).
If we ignore this warning of our LORD, I can promise you that people will “dance” their way to hell right from the church. If you are emotional about what you believe, especially when it is proven wrong from the Word of God, then I wonder why you are deceiving yourself that you are a Christian. Is Christianity now a social club that you must belong to regardless of your lack of appetite for the truth?
We love those who are clearly and unashamedly living according to the ways of the world, because they are very intelligent and are “making the world a better place”. How can we be so dumb not to realize that it is a deception? They will have a smooth tongue, make great speeches and do great works that may even indict God’s people, but don’t you allow that to “carry you away”. All these niceness and “kindness” is used to lure your heart away from true and sound doctrine, until you find yourself in your old ways again, claiming that it doesn’t really matter, because you have been deceived by a “salesman” preacher, politician or philosopher.
Can you check right now, if you are not already firmly rooted in a particular deceptive ideology or theology? In these last days, men will wrest Scriptures to their own damnation, all to make you believe a lie (2 Peter 3:16). If you will settle down to read the Bible yourself, you will know when men are forcing Scriptures to say what they want it to say rather than what it actually says. You will not discern it if you believe everything you hear, simply because the man of God is “reliable”. Haba! Even our brother Paul commended the Bereans for checking what he taught them with the Word of God.
How come we have deified men to the point where we cannot simply read the Bible to discover the mind of God? This is not growth, it is the height of immaturity. These are the kind of people our churches are producing. Those who know the name of their Pastors (and even use it to pray) more than they know the LORD Jesus Christ… You will hear, may be a hundred “my pastor says” before you hear one “the Bible says”. What kind of men have we produced that can easily enter into arguments with people on the bible, and both sides are simply speaking only from “my pastor says”? Those who have been well brought up in the LORD, are “…swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” (James 1:19).
There is one question I must ask you before we conclude our discussion, and it is multilayered. Is Christ the centre of what you are building today, of how you are building your life, of how you are building God’s people? Are you sure you are ready for the coming of the LORD? Are you ready for the Day of the LORD? Are you “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 3:12)
Honestly, how this message meets you will determine whether you are building (your life, family, and God’s people) correctly or whether you are building what will be discarded when the Day arrives. It will determine whether you are already fully deceived, or well on your way to being deceived or you have kept your wick trimmed and your lamp oiled that no kind of deception can settle on your life (Matthew 25:1-13).
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotation is from the King James Version.
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