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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Luke 21:8 End Times

Luke 21:8 (BSB) Jesus answered, “See to it that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.

Luke 21:8 (LNLT) He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them.

Cross References:
Matthew 24:3-5  3 While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Mark 13:4-6  4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to be fulfilled?” 5 Jesus began by telling them, “See to it that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.

Many of these pretenders appeared in the lifetime of the apostles. They proclaimed they were the Messiah, False Messiahs. Josephus mentions several of these impostors:
Theudas, maybe the same mentioned by Gamaliel, Acts 5:36
An Egyptian sorcerer, mentioned Acts 21:38.
Dositheus, a Samaritan.
Simon Magus is also reckoned for one, Acts 8:9.

No evidence of men claiming to be Messiahs before Christ's death and resurrection. But afterwards, up to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, these men did.

"It was necessary, he infers, that the true Christ should first appear and be rejected by the great body of the nation, before they were judicially given over to the delusions of the false Christs." - Mr. Greswell (quoted by Dean Manse, "Speaker's Commentary")

Boles, however, mentioned that the whole country (during those years) "was overrun with magicians, seducers, impostors, etc., who drew the people after them into the wilderness, promising signs and wonders."

These all come to our attention because they were figures involved in direct military action taken by the Romans against them. So we know about them and that they really existed and claimed to be the Messiah.

There are generally 3 layers of prophetic fulfillment. The immediate fulfillment, meaning during their lifetime. Fulfillment throughout history. The final fulfillment in the Last Days, the End Times. In this first verse of Jesus teaching about the End Times, we have seen that there was fulfillment in the time of the Disciples/Apostles. During their lifetime, the above mentioned men claimed to be the Messiah. Since then there have been many men who have claimed to the the Messiah.

Here are some False Messiah's that I found in doing a Google search. Wikipedia had a list of Jewish Messiahs that came after Jesus. I also found some that today claim themselves as Messiah or Jesus incarnate.

Simon bar Kokhba (also: Bar Kosiba) (?– died c. 135), led a revolt against Rome circa 132–135 CE. Bar Kokhba was hailed as Messiah-king by Rabbi Akiva.

The unsuccessful issue of the Bar Kokba war put an end for centuries to Messianic movements, but Messianic hopes were nonetheless cherished. In accordance with a computation found in the Talmud, the Messiah was expected in 440 or 471. This expectation in connection with the disturbances in the Roman empire attendant upon invasions may have raised up the Messiah who appeared about this time in Crete, and who won over the Jewish population to his movement. He called himself Moses of Crete, and promised to lead the people, like the ancient Moses, dry-shod through the sea back to Israel. In about 440–470, his followers, convinced by him, left their possessions and waited for the promised day, when at his command many cast themselves into the sea to return to Israel, some finding death, others being rescued. The putative Messiah himself disappeared with their money.

Isḥaḳ ben Ya'ḳub Obadiah Abu 'Isa al-Isfahani of Ispahan. He lived in the reign of Marwan II (744–750). Known as Abu Isa, he claimed to be the last of the five forerunners of the Messiah and that God had appointed him to free Israel. Having gathering a large number of followers, he rebelled against the caliph in Persia.

Yudghan, called "Al-Ra'i" ("the shepherd of the flock of his people"), who lived and taught in Persia in the first half of the 8th century. He was disciple of Abu Isa who continued the faith after Isa was slain. He declared himself to be a prophet, and was by his disciples regarded as a Messiah. He came from Hamadan, and taught doctrines which he claimed to have received through prophecy But he was defeated and slain at Rai.

Serene (his name is given variously in the sources as Sherini, Sheria, Serenus, Zonoria, Saüra, Severus) the Syrian was born a Christian. He preached in the district of Mardin between 720 and 723. Those Christian sources dependent on Theophilus's history report that "Severus" proclaimed himself Messiah; the Zuqnin Chronicle reports that he proclaimed himself Moses "sent again for the salvation of Israel". Serene promised "to lead you into the desert in order to introduce you then to the inheritance of the Promised Land which you shall possess as before". Serene was arrested. Brought before Caliph Yazid II, he declared that he had acted only in jest, whereupon he was handed over to the Jews for punishment.

Yudghan, who was called by his followers Al-Ra’i, Arabic for “the shepherd of the flock of his people.” The Yudghanites, as they became known, blended the three Abrahamic faiths, recognizing both Jesus and Mohammed as prophets. Yudghan was the last of a brief dynasty of Persian messiah claimants, a movement that was eventually crushed by the Persian army in the early ninth century.

In the mid-twelfth century, in Persia, a man named David Alroi revolted against the steep taxes imposed on the Jews by the caliphate. He united Jewish armies from Baghdad, Mosul and Azerbaijan, and together they captured his hometown of Amadia, in the very north of modern-day Iraq. Beyond this lies only legend: Alroi was brought before the Sultan, and, claiming to be the king of the Jews, was arrested. He miraculously escaped his cell, fleeing back to Amadia in one day when it should have taken ten. The Sultan was furious, and threatened to kill all the Jews under his rule. But the governor of Amadia bribed Alroi’s father-in-law, who killed Alroi as he was sleeping. The revolt was over, but a small number of Jews continued to follow Alroi’s teachings for several decades.

The cabalists Isaac Luria, founder of the modern school of Cabala, and Ḥayyim Vital Calabrese, his chief disciple and successor. Both claimed to be Ephraitic Messiahs, forerunners of the Davidic Messiah. Isaac Luria (b. 1534 in Jerusalem; d. 1572 in Safed) taught in his mystic system the transmigration and superfetation of souls, and believed himself to possess the soul of the Messiah of the house of Joseph and to have it as his mission to hasten the coming of the Messiah of the house of David through the mystic improvement of souls. Having developed his cabalistic system in Egypt without finding many followers, he went to Safed about 1569. There he met Ḥayyim Vital Calabrese, to whom he revealed his secrets and through whom he secured many disciples. To these he taught secretly his Messiahship. He believed that the Messianic era would commence in the beginning of the second half of the second day (of the year 1000) after the destruction of the Temple, i.e., in 1568.

On Luria's death Ḥayyim Vital Calabrese (b. 1543; d. 1620 at Damascus) claimed to be the Ephraitic Messiah and preached of the speedy advent of the Messianic era. In 1574 Abraham Shalom, a pretender to the Davidic Messiahship.

Another follower of Shabbethai who remained faithful to him, Mordecai Mokiaḥ ("the Rebuker") of Eisenstadt, also pretended to be a Messiah. His period of activity was from 1678 to 1682 or 1683. He preached at first that Shabbethai was the true Messiah, that his conversion was for mystic reasons necessary, that he did not die but would reveal himself within three years after his supposed death.

The last of the Shabbethaian Messiahs was Jacob Frank (b. 1726 in Podolia; d. 1791), founder of the Frankists. In his youth he had been brought into relation with the Dönmeh. He taught that by metempsychosis the same Messiah soul had dwelt in David. Elijah, Jesus, Mohammed, Shabbethai Ẓebi and his followers to Berechiah, and finally in him (Frank). Having secured a following among Turkish and Wallachian Jews, he came in 1755 to Podolia, where the Shabbethaians were in need of a leader, and revealed himself to them as the reincarnation of the soul of Berechiah. In accordance with the Shabbethaian trinitarian doctrine of the Deity, he laid stress on the idea of the "holy king" who was at the same time Messiah, and he accordingly called himself "santo señor" (="holy lord"). His followers claimed he performed miracles; and they even prayed to him. His purpose, as well as that of his sect, was to uproot Talmudic Judaism. He was forced to leave Podolia; and his followers were persecuted. Returning in 1759, he advised his followers to embrace Christianity, and about 1,000 were converted. He himself was converted in Warsaw Nov., 1759. Later his insincerity was exposed, and he was imprisoned as a heretic, remaining, however, even in prison the head of this sect (see Frank, Jacob, and the Frankists).

Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto (b. 1707 in Padua; d. 1747), the poet, also believed himself to be a Messiah. He had early been initiated into the Cabala. Self-deluded as a result of his occupation with the Zohar, and influenced by the cabalistic atmosphere in which he lived, he believed that a divine spirit had given to him an insight into its mysteries, and at last fancied himself to be destined by means of the "Second Zohar," which he wrote, to redeem Israel (see Grätz, l.c. x. 373, note 1; idem, Hebrew ed., viii. 389, note 1). His Cabala was at first kept within a narrow circle of disciples. When the secret was revealed, an oath was exacted of Luzzatto that he would refrain from writing, publishing, and teaching his doctrines unless he went to Palestine. He returned to his cabalistic activity, and was several times excommunicated. About 1744 he went to Palestine, there to engage in his cabalistic studies undisturbed, or to fill his Messianic rôle; and there he died.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe is the latest Jewish leader to be widely considered a messianic figure, or even the actual messiah. Schneerson, who died in 1994, gave birth to the modern Chabad movement, the largest sect of Hasidic Judaism. He was widely revered for his wisdom and empathy, and he had relationships not only with many major Jewish leaders, but also with elected officials such as Ruth Messinger. Though Schneerson died in 1994, many Lubavitchers believe that God will soon reveal the rebbe to be the one true Messiah.

Charles Manson claimed to be the Messiah.

Jim Jones believed himself to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, Buddha and other historic figures. The Peoples Temple evolved into a cult which allowed Jones to physically and sexually abuse his followers and led them to mass suicide and murder in Jonestown.

David Koresh built a cult, known as the Branch Davidians, around himself with the belief that he was the son of God. He also was convinced that he, like Jesus, was a prophet and would die a martyr. In 1993, he and 80 people died in a fire in Waco, TX rather than give themselves up to authorities.

Sun Myung Moon proclaimed himself the messiah and had a large congregation of followers in the Unification Church that supported his claim. He even declared himself and his wife "true parents of all humanity."

Alan John Miller, a former IT specialist from Australia in his late 40s, raised brows when it was reported by Sky News that he has been attracting a following with his claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnated. Miller, who claims to have memories of the crucifixion, also says his companion, fellow Australian Mary Luck, is actually Mary Magdalene, a figure counted among Jesus' followers in the Bible.

Puerto Rican-born José Luis de Jesús Miranda, 67, not only claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ but also the Antichrist. He and his worldwide followers embrace "666," traditionally viewed by Christians as a diabolical symbol, with tattoos as a "number of wisdom." Miranda first claimed in 1988 that he was the Apostle Paul before claiming to be Jesus Christ. He teaches that there is no sin, devil or hell.

Brazilian-born Álvaro Theiss, 65, has been claiming for more than 30 years to be Jesus Christ reincarnated although he started out in the late 60s by proclaiming himself a prophet and the French seer Nostradamus. He claims that in 1971 he heard the voice of God tell him that he was Jesus Christ, and it was at that point he adopted the acronym INRI for the Latinization of "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," which the Bible says Pontius Pilate had written to identify Christ during his crucifixion.

Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop, called Vissarion by his followers, has publicly claimed since 1991 to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. The Russian leader, 52, named his movement the Church of the Last Testament, and reportedly has 5,000 followers worldwide. His teachings reportedly reflect elements of various faiths, such as Russian Orthodox and Buddhism, and his stated goal is to unite all religions.

Wayne Bent, who also uses the name Michael Travesser, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for criminal sexual contact of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Bent claims that in 2000 he heard God declare him to be "the messiah," and the former Seventh-day Adventist pastor has presented himself as God's divine messenger. His New Mexico-based movement, called the Lord Our Righteousness Church, referred to as Strong City by members, was raided in 2008 by state police and Bent was arrested. National Geographic produced a documentary titled "Inside a Cult" on Bent and the Lord Our Righteousness Church, in which the self-proclaimed messiah says, "I am the embodiment of God. I am divinity and humanity combined."

One of the higher profile lords and saviors on the list, Apollo Quiboloy is sort of a big deal. Based in the Philippines, the messiah and leader of the snappily named Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc. was labeled by ABC News as "the most successful of the world's self-labeled saviors." According to Quiboloy, he was contacted by God in the mid-2000s and made aware of his destiny as the second coming of Christ on Earth. His holdings include a mansion and "Prayer Mountain," maintained by a bunch of volunteers who are each given a stipend of around $40 per week, minus the necessary 10% tithing, obviously. He claims, through the power of God, to have the ability to attract wealth and fame and to bring the dead back to life. - Grunge.com

So, now we've seen that Jesus was speaking truth. In the verse we are studying, there were fulfillments in the days of the Apostles and first churches. We've seen fulfillment throughout history, including men today who claim to be Messiah. But there is also going to come the ultimate fulfillment in the End Times. The anti-Christ will claim to be the Jewish Messiah and people will believe him.

Revelation 13:1-8  1 The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

These false Messiahs would appear to be authentic, expressing faith in Jesus and recognizing His role in God’s purposes. Coming on the basis of Christ’s name indicates that such deceivers are professing to be Christian. But they are false Messiahs.

Jesus will come again. He promised He would. He also promised that we, His People, would know when He comes again. There would be no doubt. As we look at the following verses in His discourse about the Last Days, we will see that He gives us what to look for. He gives us warning. He does not leave without explanations, He gives us what we need to know, no more, no less.

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