I count ten signs of the end of the age before the coming of Christ.
“And Jesus answered them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray’” (Matt. 24:4-5). The verb “see” (blepo) means “beware” (Gingrich) or “be on your guard.” It is an imperative mood—a command. Jesus commands us to “see,” to “beware,” and to “watch out.” The verb phrase, “leads you astray” is from planao, “cause to wander fig. mislead, deceive Mt 24:4f.” (Gingrich) Beware that false christs will not deceive you.
The first sign is that “many” will claim that they are the Christ and will deceive many. To come in Christ’s name is to use the name of Christ or to claim the messianic title of Christ. That is the first sign of the end of the age—false christs and their false teachings.
Today, our Filipino version of a false christ is Apollo C. Quiboloy. He claims to be the “appointed Son of God.” He applies Jesus’ words to himself in John 7:29, “I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” But this appointed Son of God did not come from the Father. Jesus was born of a virgin; but Quiboloy was born of a non-virgin mother. Jesus was sinless; but Quiboloy is a sinner. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven; but Quiboloy is in Davao City. Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world; but Quiboloy has his kingdom in Davao City.
Jesus was poor; but Quiboloy is rich. He receives all the cash gifts sent to him by his followers directly. (Can we do that here in GGCF? Probably the fastest way for a Pastor to get rich is to receive all the offerings in the church.) Jesus did not have much money; but this appointed Son of God is a multi-millionaire. Reportedly, he donated a helicopter to candidate Rodrigo Duterte. Jesus did not own a house; but Quiboloy owns a mansion. Jesus suffered and died on the cross; but Quiboloy is living in luxury, enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I never dreamed that a false christ in the Philippines will rise and deceive many in my lifetime.
What will these false christs do? Jesus said, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). They will perform signs and wonders—miracles. There is no question that false christs can perform miracles. But their power can only come from the Devil.
To be led astray is to be led from the right path to the wrong path. These false christs will lead many astray from the true path of God’s Word to the false path of their false teachings.
Watch out for UAE teaching—unbiblical, anti-biblical, and extra-biblical teaching. Unbiblical teaching is teaching that has some Bible in it but not according to the Bible. Anti-biblical teaching is teaching that contradicts the Bible. Extra-biblical teaching is teaching that adds a teaching to the Bible that the Bible does not teach.
How many people will these false christs deceive? “Many” (Matt. 24:5; cf. v. 11). They will deceive “many” people. The deception of many people by false christs is certainly a sign of the end of the age. Conversely, the “many” followers are not necessarily a sign that their leader is faithful to God’s Word. A large church does not mean that the Pastor teaches the truth of the Bible.