Yeshua told us many would come. Will we know them?
The Bible tells us that a false Christ is anyone who teaches a gospel that is not the word of YHVH. A false Christ can also be a person who identifies as The Messiah himself but isn’t. This has always been a very heated and controversial topic. It is spoken about in the Bible with alarming frequency- well over a hundred times- and it is certainly one of the most important things to study, especially in these last days, so that when confronted with it we will see it for what it is. Let’s talk about False Christs and wolves.
Yeshua tells us these things in Matthew chapter 24 verses 4-14:
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
And Yeshua expounds a little more for us in verses 23-27:
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold , he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The above passage of scripture is just one example out of many. To be sure, Yeshua wanted to drive the point home to His followers about the concept of a “false messiah” because as verse 24 says, these deceptions could be so convincing that even the elect risked being caught up in them. He wants us to stay sober and vigilant, abiding in Him and growing in grace and maturity spiritually so that we won’t fall for the schemes of these wolves in the garments of sheep. And like the 12 Apostles, we should want just as eagerly to learn about who these people might be and what things they teach so that we are not deceived. Indeed, when we are confronted with these sorts of things- we need to use discernment and test the spirits to see if they are of YHVH. Anything that is not, brothers and sisters, is not worth our time.
One the most pernicious of all the Christological heresies is Arianism. Named after Arius, a fourth-century theologian from Alexandria, Arianism is a view that denies the full deity and eternality of Christ. “There was a time when He [Christ] was not,” Arius famously said. Aruis’ stance was that Christ was a created being- the agent through whom God created the universe- but was not God in any real sense. Arianism claims that Christ was an angel of the Lord. It claims that Christ had a finite existence because He was created, and therefore was inferior to YHVH the Father. This makes it clear that those who are proponents of this ideology must deny the divinity of Christ. Arianism also believes that all baptized members are ordained ministers and share in preaching and teaching the flock, yet every single one of these beliefs is proven false by scripture.
Long ago, the Orthodox Church tried to stamp out Arianism, but to no avail, as there are branches of the belief that continue to this present day. Most notable among them is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Founded in the mid to late nineteenth century by Charles Taze Russell, the JW’s group has several million adherents in numerous countries. Like their Arian predecessors, the modern-day witnesses believe that Jesus is a created being who is not eternal and therefore, not YHVH. They may even argue that Jesus was Michael the Archangel, however, by examining a number of Scriptures their statements simply can’t hold water.
The Arians, as well as the Jehovah’s witnesses, rely heavily on twisting scripture and telling you that the verses that point to the true nature of Yeshua as God, and Yeshua as the Bridegroom are metaphorical in nature and are not literal. If you have been exposed to these teachings, disregard them entirely. Anyone who claims that they are saved by faith in Yeshua, yet denies that He is the Christ, has missed the entire point of the scriptures. In fact, the very “Rock” that serves as the foundation of the church as revealed to us by the Messiah through Simon Peter’s correct answer to the famous question at Caesarea Philippi is that Yeshua is YHVH in the flesh. You see, only God can save, and He tells us this in Isaiah 43:10-11:
“You are my witnesses” says Adonai. “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you can know and trust me and understand that I am He- no god was produced before me, nor will any be after me. I, even I am the Elohim and apart from me there is no Savior.”
Interestingly, an essential feature of being created is that one requires salvation from YHVH to be redeemed. No creature can save another creature. Only the Creator can redeem His creation, and according to the Bible, Yeshua (YHVH) is the Savior. This is why Yeshua tells us that He and the Father are one. There are myriad scriptures that affirm that Yeshua is exactly who He tells us He is- in both the Old and New Testaments. There are hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament alone! In the words of the Messiah himself, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
1 John 1:1-14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
So, we can clearly see from just these verses (and there are many, many others) that Yeshua is the only Savior, that He is both King and Lord, and the He is the Eternal Father, the Word, and the Spirit made flesh. And we shall call His name Emmanuel.