Beware False Christs: 3 Aspects of Discernment
By Song Li
Now is the end of the last days. The four blood moons have been completely fulfilled. Various disasters are increasingly intense. Now is also the time of the Lord’s return. Then when we know the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ return on the internet or through our relatives or friends, how should we treat it? The Lord Jesus once said: “Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23-24). Many brothers and sisters don’t understand the true meaning of these words, so every time they hear news of the Lord Jesus’ second coming, they dare not to listen to it or receive the evangelists for fear of being deceived by false Christs. But if we truly want to welcome the arrival of the true God, we can’t passively evade, guard against and reject the news of the Lord Jesus’ return, but should grasp how to differentiate between the true Christ and false Christs. Only then can we not be deceived by false Christs or miss the opportunity to welcome the appearance of the true God. Now, let’s see how to distinguish between true Christ and false Christs.
Firstly, we should discern according to the aspect that false Christs can perform miracles. In the above scripture the Lord Jesus clearly told us, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders.” Then we can see false Christs and false prophets rely on signs and wonders to deceive people. That is, in the last days, false Christs mainly imitate the work of the Lord Jesus and deceive people by performing signs and wonders, which causes people to mistakenly believe that they are the Lord’s second coming. With this, they deceive God’s chosen people. These are just the main means that they use to deceive people, just as Second Thessalonian 2:9 says, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Because false Christs and false prophets are utterly devoid of the truth, and in nature and substance, they are counterfeits of evil spirits, they can only imitate some work that God once did and work some insignificant wonders. But they can’t copy what the Lord Jesus did as feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, raising the dead, calming the wind and sea, etc. A spiritual book says, “If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, and can cast out demons, and heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are the coming of Jesus, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus.” This just confirms the enlightenment given to us by the Lord Jesus through this scripture. This is also the path of discerning false Christs.
Secondly, we should distinguish based on Christ’s disposition. It’s known to us all that the Lord Jesus initiated the Age of Grace, concluded the Age of Law, and completed the work of His crucifixion, allowing man to be forgiven of his sins and receive the Lord’s grace and blessings. Only God Himself can do all of this work. The Lord Jesus is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God. He concealed Himself humbly and worked among us humans and never showed Himself off. He experienced all the sufferings of the world. In order to redeem us from Satan’s domain, He was willing to be nailed to the cross without the slightest complaint. Besides, He never showed off, and was never opinionated, and even less did He rely on status. None of corrupt humans possesses the disposition of mercy and love He expressed, and what He is and has such as His tolerance and patience. Thus, Christ can express God’s own disposition and also do God’s own work. Though the incarnate God has a normal and ordinary appearance, He is able to do God’s own work. Instead, the work of false Christs is completely opposite to that of Christ. They can’t do the work of saving mankind. Oppositely, they can only perform some miracles to deceive people, and to do their utmost to brag, show off and boast about themselves. What they reveal is Satan’s arrogant, evil and deceitful disposition, which is detestable.
Lastly, we should distinguish the true Christ and false Christs based on whether he can express the truth. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Only God is the truth, the way, and the life. Except for God, none of the created and non-created beings possesses the truth, the way and the life. So distinguishing between the true Christ and false Christs should be based on whether he has the truth, and whether he can express God’s words, the truth, God’s disposition, and all that God has and is. The words of truth expressed by God during His work can point out the direction of practice to us and give us a path to follow. We all know when Jehovah God worked, He decreed laws and commandments for man to abide by, allowing the people of that time to know how to live on earth, how to get along with others, what sin is, how to worship God so as to gain His approval, and so on. Because newborn mankind abided by Jehovah God’s teachings and upheld His commandments and ordinances, their lives had structure, and were not in chaos as before. When the Lord Jesus came to work, He also expressed the truth, brought people new ways to practice their faith, taught people to love their neighbors as themselves, to be tolerant and patient, to forgive others, etc. This made people gain increasing humanity. From this, we can see God’s work is never repeated, and that He always leads new paths to practice. At that time, the followers of the Lord Jesus such as Peter and John heard the Lord’s words and confirmed what He expressed was all the truth, and thus they recognized God’s voice and saw Christ’s appearance. On the contrary, false Christs and evil spirits call themselves Christ, but they don’t possess the slightest substance of Christ. They can only show off and bear witness to themselves, but cannot express the truth at all; they have to trail and imitate based on the foundation of the work of the Lord Jesus, and perform some miracles to deceive people, but cannot show people the path to practice, finally collapsing unconsciously. Some of false Christs were cursed by God and died. Their followers didn’t gain any truths and life and even some were possessed by evil spirits, and also punished. These things all exist in some Christian denominations. Therefore, to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs, the most important thing is that we must confirm that only Christ is the truth, the way and the life, and that false Christs absolutely have no truth.
Through the above three aspects, we can realize that the Lord Jesus’ purpose of saying this prophecy was to remind us: When He returns at the end of the world, there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and they will use great signs and wonders to deceive God’s chosen people. That is to say, the time when false Christs and false prophets appear and begin to deceive people around the world is the very time that the true Christ has already appeared and begun to do His work, and it’s also the time that we should seek God’s appearance and follow His footprints. Only when we grasp how to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs, only when we know Christ’s substance, and only when we are able to know and discern false Christs’ ways of deceiving people, can we meet the return of the Lord Jesus—the appearance of Christ of the last days. When we understand how to tell the difference between the true Christ and false Christs, we will no longer passively guard against and evade hearing the gospel of the second coming of the Lord Jesus, or blindly reject it. Instead, we will be able to seek, investigate, and discern it with the reverence of God in our hearts, and measure whether the Lord Jesus has returned or not according to the principles of the truth. Because when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days, He will still speak His words and express the truth. Just as He said in prophesying His return: “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:11). When we hear the voice of the returned Lord Jesus through various methods and seek with a heart of yearning, God will enlighten us, guide us, make us think, see clearly, and be able to distinguish. Thus, we will be able to welcome the appearance of Christ of the last days and not miss the opportunity to be saved by the returned Lord Jesus in the last days.
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