“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.” Mark 13:5-6
It seems incredible to me that anyone would believe a charlatan claiming to be Christ. Yet in just the short years of my lifetime there have been at least three or four people who have been able to gain a following by claiming that they were some kind of reincarnation of the messiah.
Jesus and his disciples were concerned about our vulnerability to this kind of deception. That’s why he took the time to warn his disciples and they took the time to include the warning when they wrote about his life and teachings.
So why do people find the claims of these false messiahs credible?
I believe the reason lies in the spiritual and biblical ignorance of many who claim to know God. God wants us to know him but we can’t get to know him on our own. So God himself gave us the Bible and he gave us the Holy Spirit. Through the study of the scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Spirit combined with our own personal experience in living a life connected with Christ we can come to know and understand God.
But people don’t study for themselves and many are quick to believe when others come teaching and preaching. It doesn’t even enter their minds that this person is intent on deception or that the person might be the victim of deception themselves. And failing to prayerfully study for themselves they are vulnerable to victimization.
Our only protection against this kind of deception is to become personally knowledgeable with God and his word. Daily spend time in prayer pursuing a direct personal connection with God till you, like Abraham of old, recognize the voice of God speaking to your heart. Daily spend time studying God’s word till scripture becomes a light to the path of your life and a sword to fight back the deceiver when he comes to tempt you.
A personal knowledge and a personal relationship with God through his Spirit and his word is the help we need. Christ has given us both. Let’s not neglect the great salvation heaven has provided.