Countdown to the End of the World: The End-Time Mission of the False Prophets Exposed
by Steve Sterling 11/26/2011 / Prophecy
Of all the servants of Satan the false prophets are the most subtle. This is due their uncanny ability to appear convincing while destroying the souls of his hearers. In the biblical countdown of end-of-the-world events in the writings of almost every prophet and apostle the warning against listening to falsehoods has always been given the emphasis it deserves.
The level of importance that the warnings against false prophets is given is a measure of the level of peril to which one is exposed when he/she listens to them. But it seems as if most of us are not taking these prophecies as seriously as they should. Apart from Jesus' prediction in Matthew 24, the Bible passage the get my attention on the subject at hand is found in the second epistle of Peter. Here is what he says:
"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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." 2Pet. 2:1, 2 (KJV)
At this point I need to differentiate between the two kinds of false prophets. Firstly, there are preachers who preach falsehoods because they are deceived themselves. Being deceived they become Satan's agent of deception as if he is practicing it intentionally. The second set consists of preachers who were actually put there by Satan to infiltrate the Christian society with the intention of taking over organizations. While the former can be undeceived through a revelation of Bible truth, the latter has a definite agenda and knows what he is doing and who he is working for.
The false teachers with a definite agenda are the ones who we are told about in the above extract from the epistle of the apostle Peter. By his use of the word 'privily' to describe the activities of last-day false prophets, he is conveying the idea of a covert operation, a carefully planned strategy of propagating falsehoods so that it does not become readily apparent to all concerned.
The part of this text of scripture that concerns me greatly is Peter's assertion that these same false teachers who introduced damnable heresies will also deny the Lord as well! When I think about denying the Lord my mind is taken immediately to what this same Peter did to Christ. He knows what it means to deny Christ. Therefore, we should not be under any illusion as to what he is trying to bring to our understanding when he says false prophets will deny Christ.
Certainly, the denial of Christ would be a new low in the preaching of falsehoods, yet it is prophesied as something to take place before the world comes to an end. Today, we have false preachers preaching about Christ, telling us that we need to accept Him as our Saviour; that we need to pray to Him for guidance. For something opposite to be the case there must be a dramatic change in their messages. That there will indeed be such a scenario is confirmed in the following text from the epistle of Jude:
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude vs 4 (KJV)
From what we read in both the epistles of Peter and Jude, it appears that this is the ultimate goal to be achieved in the propagation of falsehoods. It is Satan's long-tern aim for the world be brought to the place where they deny the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ. No wonder Jesus prophesied of the proliferation of false prophets as one of the signs of the end of the world.
The Devil knows that he doesn't have a long time in which to accomplish his purposes, and that if he is to succeed he must have all his agents on the field. But how will he get the world to deny the Lord? Based on my observations of how people respond to certain type of preaching it doesn't appear to be something impossible. It seems to me that congregations around the world are becoming less and less concerned about the truth or falsity of the sermons they listen to every week.
From all appearances people are more interested in the 'feel-good' effect of the preaching. The preacher might be known for his fiery delivery and for his ability to touch emotional cords every time he preaches. He may be a good motivational speaker. Whenever preachers with these kinds of talents preach a sermon, it only causes people to be lost in the emotional validation from the presentation and forget about its doctrinal value.
It is for this reason why Peter predicted that "many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." The constant imbibing of false teachings will ultimately lead to the blaspheming of the truth and its Author. The result of socializing the Christian world in doctrines that are unscriptural is precisely the phenomenon against which the apostle Paul issued the following prophetic warning:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2Tim. 4:3, 4 (KJV)
So, it seems quite conclusive that it is the people's inclination to listen to untruths why they will become exposed to the possibility of falling prey to Satan's end-time stratagem. Your only hope of escaping his dragnet is to love the truth and make it your point of duty to educate yourself in the word of God in general and end-time prophecies in particular. As the end of the world draws near the need to become acquainted with the devices of Satan will be most critical. It is a matter of life and death.