Before you call someone a “false prophet”….


Why do people quote things out of context? One of the verses people always quote is this.

“Matthew 24: 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

They seem to quote it to everyone who has a different view of their understanding of Scripture from them. Let’s study the context of the verses. It starts with Jesus speaking about the destruction of the temple.

24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Then the disciples bewildered asked Jesus ““Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

It is pertinent here the disciples equated the “end of the age” to the destruction of the temple. The end of the age here is a term which means end of a dispensation. In other words, the end of the Mosaic Law. It is simple really no temple, no bulls and goats, no way the Law can be practiced.

So Jesus says this: “9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, THIS GENERATION will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

It is pertinent these incidents are incidents which precede the destruction of the temple, there were upheavals and there were political turmoil before the temple is being destroyed. There were people who led rebellions against the Roman Emperors who tried to defile the temple. Of the many three famous of the leaders, are Thadeus, James and Simon.

They tried to liberate Israel from Rome. You see to us Messiah means Jesus Christ. To the Jew at that time when Jesus was speaking a Messiah is like a freedom fighter, a Nelson Mandela. These were the false Messiahs he was talking about.

What about the coming of the clouds and the gathering of the people from 4 corners?

Coming on the Clouds

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth [the tribes of the land] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).

First, we must recognize that this passage does not refer to a global event. Where it says “earth,” the root word is ge, which means “land,” as in the land of Israel.18 This passage does not use the word kosmos, which would refer to the whole planet earth. That is why many translations use the phrase “tribes of the land” (inserted above) or, at the very least, include it in the footnotes.

Second, the phrase “coming on clouds of heaven,” would have triggered in the first century Jewish listener the Old Testament “cloud-comings” of God in judgment upon ancient historical people and nations (see Ps. 18:7-15; 104:3; Isa. 19:1; Joel 2:1-2; Zeph. 1:4,15). It is important to realize that when Jesus talks about the coming of the Son of Man, He is referring to a coming of judgment, not to His Final Return.

Third, the “sign of the son of man in heaven” is likely a reference to the sign we read about earlier from Josephus—the sword that hung in the sky for a year over Jerusalem before AD 70.

Gathering the Elect

And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other (Matthew 24:31).

David Chilton writes of this passage:

Finally, Jesus announced, the result of Jerusalem’s destruction will be Christ’s sending forth of His “angels” to gather the elect. Isn’t this the rapture? No. The word angels simply means messengers(cf. James 2:25), regardless of whether their origin is heavenly or earthly; it is the context which determines whether these are heavenly creatures being spoken of. The word often means preachers of the Gospel (see Matthew 11:10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; Revelation 1-3). In context, there is every reason to assume that Jesus is speaking of the worldwide evangelism and conversion of the nations, which will follow upon the destruction of Israel.19

After the destruction of the Temple and the Jewish religious system, God began to gather people into His Kingdom from the four corners of the earth. A great explanation of this is found in Victorious Eschatology.

To many people, this can speak only of the second coming of Christ at the end of history. But that is not what Jesus said it meant. Only three verses after this, He states, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Jesus said that this verse was descriptive of one of the things that would happen within the span of one generation.

How can we understand this? As Jesus sat down on His throne, all authority was given to Him in heaven and earth. Everything changed the moment Jesus came into His kingdom. The blowing of a trumpet meant to the Jews that a royal decree was going out. And what was that decree? It was time to release angels of God to go and gather His people from every nation. At the same time, the disciples of Jesus were commissioned to go and preach the gospel, making disciples of every nation. No longer was the Jewish nation the only people allowed within a covenant relationship with God [this occurred in Acts 10]. Jesus had become the Good Shepherd who was gathering His sheep from across the world.

With regards the abomination of the desolation, it was Nero bringing a pig offered in the Holy of Holies to defile the temple and him declaring himself as Lord and God. He persecuted the Jews through a general Titus and caused the Jews to flee to the mountains. At the time of these persecutions, women ate their own children, hence the mention of nursing mothers and pregnant ladies. Jesus said all these things will come within that generation. All these things are recorded in the writings of the historians especially Josephus.

This is what I am trying to say. Don’t quote verses out of its context. Just because you think you are right, it doesn’t give you the right to call a person a false prophet. Quoting Scriptures without knowing the background and history will show you up as arrogant and ignorant. Even more it shows you to be teaching falsely from the person you are accusing.

Here’s a better approach as compared to calling people names. Try this “Why do you say that? Lets learn together.”

Further reading:

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