Many Christian writers and some Christian preachers keep bringing up the idea that we are living in the ‘end times’ as described in the Bible. The evidence for this possibility is well established and many Christians believe what these writers and preachers are saying. But what, exactly, are the ‘end times’? If you don’t know the details, do not worry, for Christ’s apostles weren’t sure either and Jesus had to explain it to them.
The Bible describes the end times, or times of trouble, in several places in the Old Testament, but it is in the book of Daniel that is most prominent. The prophet Daniel is famous for the stories of interpreting the writing on the wall and for surviving being thrown into the lion’s den. You may also remember the story of his friends being thrown into a furnace, but never burned. Daniel was an interpreter of dreams and chapters 10, 11, and 12 of his book describe his final vision, which involved the end times.
In the modern Christian teaching of millennialism,1 Daniel’s prophecy explains the rise and destruction of the Antichrist2 (Daniel 11:36-45) and the salvation of Israel and Christ’s return (Daniel 12).3 This prophecy includes the resurrection of the dead.4
The vision given to Daniel was a bit much for the people of the 6th century BC to understand. It applied to the end times far in the future, so he was instructed by God: “But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4, NLT).5
Being kept ‘secret’ only means its message is obscure until a future time, when it will then be understood. This is typical of apocalyptic literature, that the information is to be sealed, or left unknown, until a time pertinent to the situation.6 Today, this prophetic verse is commonly taken to foreshadow advances in knowledge (scientific and otherwise) and modern transportation.7 If all that is so, it is spot-on for describing our modern world.
Before we go on, there are a couple of articles, related to Daniel, that you may enjoy. One is “Daniel’s Friends were Thrown into the Fire” and the other is “Additions to the Book of Daniel from the Apocrypha.” Both articles are listed at the end of this discourse in References & Notes.8
What is coming?
If you are a Christian, then you believe that the Messiah is Jesus. And as promised, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will return one day to destroy Satan, resurrect the dead, and give us everlasting life. Now, there is debate about what kind of life we will have, one of a physical nature in a renewed earthly paradise, or one of a spiritual nature in the heavenly realm of angels. For this article, what you believe your future life will be like is unimportant; our study is about a decision you must make before you get to that resurrection point. If you make the wrong decision while in this present life, any hope of resurrection is questionable.
As mentioned above, Jesus told his followers he would return, but they neither understood the end times, nor understood when those times would occur. So, when his disciples came to him at the Mount of Olives, they asked him, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). Read all of chapter 24 for a detailed and very interesting (troubling) description, but the most important verses relating to our present study are the following. “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time,” (Matthew 24:24-25).
A contemporary Bible translation states it this way. “Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning,” (Matthew 24:24-25, TM).9
To many Christians today, it is evident that we are close to, or already in, these end times, because they see the prophecies of Matthew 24 and elsewhere coming true. But there is much disagreement as to what Matthew 24, verses 24 and 25 actually mean — what could deceive even the most faithful and dedicated of God’s people? And what is this about ‘false messiahs’? It must be very important, because he implies, “When they come, and you believe them, don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
How will you know a false teacher or prophet?
Now, false or lying teachers and religious leaders (prophets) can generally be found within the Christian community by comparing their character with the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22-23) versus the ‘Works of the Flesh’ (Galatians 5:19-21). Paul the Apostle wrote, “Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other,” (Galatians 5:16-17a).
If you attend a congregation where unmoral sexual behavior is accepted, or idolatry is practiced, or you see any evidence of other activity that is contrary to Jesus’ teaching, than you are confronting false teachings and you cannot trust any knowledge obtained from that source. This goes for any person outside the church who deems themselves as a prophet of God, too. Are they trying to profit from their religion or position? Remember, if you want to know if someone is teaching biblical truth, know what the Bible says, so you can make an accurate decision.
Just because someone interprets doctrine differently, doesn’t mean they are a false teacher. There are many serious and dedicated followers of Christ that are just trying to understand the ‘hard sayings’ of Jesus and have questions about the meaning of things said thousands of years ago. Understanding the complexities of multi-cultural events is difficult, so their research is valuable in piecing together a proper tapestry of biblical history and thought.
Researchers, mostly, are not trying to change doctrine, but just trying to understand truth. Don’t fall into that trap of believing all Christian sects are false, except yours. There are bits and pieces of truth in all of them; it is our job to separate these pieces into an ordered and logical arrangement.
How many Messiahs can there be?
In Matthew 24, notice that Jesus is not saying one false messiah, but more than one, because he uses the term in its plural form. Why? Early on my Christian path, I thought that verse made no sense. “How can there be more than one savior?” I thought, “The Bible only mentions Jesus.” Yes, I was that naive.
Well, over the years I’ve learned that all three Abrahamic religions each have their own expected messiah. Christianity, of course, has Jesus as the Messiah and he has already come and will return. Judaism, which rejected Jesus, is still waiting for their messiah (the Mashiach).10
And Islam is awaiting their own messiah, too. They believe Jesus was Israel’s messiah, but he was not the son of God, but only a teacher. Both main sects of Islam (Sunni and Shiite) believe that the Mahdi (the Twelfth Imam) will return at the end of days.11 But the Abramhamic religions are not the only ones, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Native American religions have their own messiahs, too (and probably many more around the world that I don’t know about).
Many Native American tribes believe of other worldly visits in the past. And some have legends with similarities to the Messiah foretold in our Holy Bible. Quetzalcoatl, of North and South American legend, promised he would return to restore order and balance and open ancient wisdom books. White Buffalo Calf Woman, messiah of the Lakota Sioux, promised to return. The messiah and builder of the Machu Picchu and founder of the Inca Confederacy, Pachacuti, is expected to return.12
A Peruvian spiritual teacher, Willaru Huayta, said, “In antiquity our ancestors — the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas — received visits from other worlds.” The Hopi’s are awaiting Pahana, who will unite the broken tribes and reestablish balance and harmony.13 “Cherokee legends teach that Native Americans originated long ago in the Pleiades14 [star cluster], and assert that indigenous people came to Earth as ‘star seeds’.”15
Many people in our modern world believe in a possible alien or otherworldly connection or contact with life on earth. And, by Christian teaching, it is absolutely true, for God and Jesus and angels, and Satan, etc. are all alien otherworldly creatures. Demons, however, are hybrids created on earth during the days of Noah, but still connected with some spirit creatures from other realms. For a study on this particular topic, see “What are Demons and the Nephilim? — and that Mayhem before the Flood of Noah?” listed in References & Notes.16
What about a space alien Messiah?
But what about physical aliens, humanoid or not, living in societies and cities on other planets around distant stars, coming to earth in spacecraft? Could some space alien representative be a messiah-like being that will save us from destruction and cleanse the earth and give us eternal life? Or is that only a far-fetched crazy idea from some sci-fi movie?
Listening to mainstream news sources and government intelligence in the past implied that sort of notion as kind of goofy, but times are changing. Many citizens have uncovered interesting documents which lend credibility to such thoughts. Today, many people around the world believe in alien life on other planets and the numbers of such believers are increasing. For a couple of articles on this subject, see (1) “God, Aliens, & UFOs” and (2) “Angels from Heaven or Aliens from Outer Space?” Both are listed in References & Notes.17
There are even plenty of very important and well-know scientists who also believe in alien life, and more announcing so as time goes on. I’m not going to give a list, but will mention one such man, who is (was) very well-known, Francis Crick.
Cambridge scientist Francis Harry Crick (along with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins), received a Nobel Prize in 196218 for discovering the double helical structure of DNA.19 So, Crick was no ‘nut job’ but a scientifically intelligent British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist (although nonreligious and especially critical of Christianity).20
Anyway, Crick was a proponent of a theory that still remains in the fringe of scientific thought, the theory of directed panspermia. Panspermia, meaning ‘seeds everywhere’, suggests “life on Earth originate from space and that our world was seeded by spores of microorganism traveling between planets.” But Crick (together with Leslie Orgel) “postulated a variant of the theory in which spores were transported by an interplanetary spaceship sent by an alien civilization.”21
My point is that alien life, besides the biblical spiritual kind, isn’t just some ignorant idea. Even the mainstream media is getting a bit more serious about this subject and the U.S. government is not being as secretive as it once was, concerning this topic.
What if governments of the world were to announce that space aliens were real and that they are here now? What if we were told these advanced entities from another planet began all life on this world and have now returned to help us solve all our problems, and cure all our diseases, and extend our lives? Would you believe them? Would you believe that the Messiah had arrived to save us?
A Great Deception that will Deceive even the Elect
I would not believe it, but many people would — including Christians all around the world. Will it happen? I don’t know, but to be honest, I think it is a real possibility, for there is evidence of such a plot afoot. I believe God and I believe Jesus Christ, and I believe his word for what he said, so I will be very distrustful of what earthly things I hear about from any government.
No, I’m not expecting this, but I would not be surprised if it happens. The Great Deception will be organized and controlled by Satan to gain control, so we must always be aware of what is going on and why. There are many who are expecting this scenario. Some are preaching that the aliens, if any, may actually be Satan and his fallen angels and demons, and they could very well be correct.
But there are other possibilities, too. I haven’t heard this next idea from any other pulpits, yet, but the thought has crossed my mind. Could this coronavirus pandemic and vaccine fiasco be the great deception mentioned? As you are probably aware, it has hurt the Christian Church, as well as others, with the fear and psychological manipulation used to herd and control the population and dictate social changes. Our fleeting freedoms have long been somewhat of an illusion, and may well be even more so in a very short time. Like I’ve said many times, fear is not an attribute of God’s Holy Spirit, but is one of Satan’s tactics for control.
And do not think large governments are outside of Satan’s entrapment — have you ever thought of what ‘fruit of the Spirit’ our government leaders foster? Not much! They display and promote the ‘works of the flesh’. The same goes for large corporations, especially ones that associate with governments — and medical organizations, universities, and churches, too. Evil is increasing, folks, so maybe it is time to consider these things seriously. When the deception comes, make sure you choose correctly in what to believe.
In Matthew 24, verses 23 and 24, are contained warnings about false messiahs and false prophets. These reports may even trap those who sincerely and lovingly look toward Christ for help, because those who perform miracles are not necessarily from God. Miracles can be satanic in origin.22 People can become excited and misled and, therefore, unable to accurately judge results.23
We find the same message in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians. Paul (with Timothy as coauthor) wrote, “The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false,” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).
Again, let us look at a contemporary Bible translation. “The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it — gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions,” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, TM).
This Anarchist (or Antichrist) “will unscrupulously use every form of wickedness to deceive the perishing people — those who heard the gospel during the Age of Grace but who had no love for the truth.”24 This Antichrist, under Satan’s control, has the power to perform deceptive supernatural acts. We must examine the source of the act and the content of the message being promoted in order to avoid any deception.25 Remember that as Christ is related to God, so is the Antichrist related to Satan. Satan will give him his power, his position, and his authority (see Revelation 13:2).26
When Jesus gave his warning in Matthew 24, (and repeated in the other Synoptic Gospels: Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-28), it focuses on not being deceived or led astray. Because of this emphasis, it is clear a Great Deception will come, so be ready for it.27
This Great Deception will affect everyone, everywhere. Is it just one great problem that seems to get solved, or will it appear to bring solutions to hundreds of smaller problems that are already hurting people around the world — sickness, starvation, war, etc.? Will it be an alien life form with its high technology that arrives to solve our social problems and diseases? Will it be someone or something, equipped with awesome powers, that can tame natural disasters, or maybe a combination of all the above?
For video related to this article’s subject, I have selected two presentations. The first is by Paul Harvey (1918 – 2009), who was a prominent American radio broadcaster during my early life. So popular was his news and commentary that his show was carried on 1200 radio stations and on 400 Armed Forces Network stations. His written news column appeared in 300 newspapers.28
Harvey was a true American patriot, but his words will ring true for Christians in most any country, today. The startling thing is that he first broadcast these words more than 55 years ago (in 1965) and they are still accurate as to how Satan operates. The title of this audio-video presentation of one of his broadcasts is ‘If I Were the Devil’ and the link is listed in References & Notes.29
The second selection is a music video taken from Mike Huckabee’s television show “Huckabee” on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) . Since this is a television clip, I cannot legally strip out the short ad, but its inclusion should not be considered as an endorsement for purchase. The song, which appears to be loosely based upon Paul Harvey’s script, is sung by musician Aaron Lewis and it is titled ‘If I Were the Devil’. Selected lyrics are below and the music video is listed in Reverences & Notes.30
I would keep on doin’ what I’m doin’
But what I’m doin’ sure is workin’ now
And if you don’t believe me, I could prove it
Hey, all you need to do is look around
Hey, I’d be thinkin’ things just can’t get better,
If I were the devil
Copyright © 2021, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- Millennialism: the belief, expressed in the book of Revelation, that Christ will establish a 1,000-year reign of the saints on earth (the millennium) before the Last Judgment.
Landes, Richard, “Millennialism”, (Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 February 2005). https://www.britannica.com/topic/millennialism
- Antichrist: a person who is prophesied in the Bible to arrive during the endtime. He will oppose Christ and deceive his followers just before the second coming of Jesus.
- LaHaye, Tim F.; Hindson, Edward E., The Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary, (Eugene OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2006), pp. 259-263.
- Collins, John J., Daniel: With an Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature, (Grand Rapids MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1984), p. 106.
- Unless otherwise noted, all references are from the Holy Bible: New Living Translation, (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015). Used by permission.
- Barry, John D., et al., Faithlife Study Bible, (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Daniel 12:4.
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, (Ed.) Arthur Farstad, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), p. 1091.
- (1) Hermann, Ray, “Daniel’s Friends were Thrown into the Fire”, (OBS, 1 May 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/daniels-friends-were-thrown-into-the-fire/
(2) Hermann, Ray, “Additions to the Book of Daniel from the Apocrypha”, (OBS, 19 December 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/additions-to-the-book-of-daniel-from-the-apocrypha/
- The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language, (Carol Stream, IL: NavPress Publishing Group, 2002).
- “Mashiach: The Messiah”, (Mechon Mamre, retrieved 22 March 2021), https://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/mashiach.htm
- Lougheed, Marion, “What Is the Islamic Belief on the Coming of the Messiah?” (Classroom, Leaf Group Ltd., 29 September 2017), https://classroom.synonym.com/what-is-the-islamic-belief-on-the-coming-of-the-messiah-12087587.html
- Stockbauer, Bette, “Native American prophecies, UFO’s and the coming of a messiah”, (Mind Light, retrieved 22 March 2021), http://mindlight.info/maitreya/bsprophe.htm
- Pleiades: a star cluster also known as the Seven Sisters. These stars are north-west of the constellation Taurus and prominent in the Northern Hemisphere during winter. They are considered as ‘near earth’ at about 444 light years away. [The Subaru logo design is of this star cluster.]
“Pleiades”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 March 2021), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades
- “Who are the Pleisians?” (Gaia, 2 December 2020), https://www.gaia.com/article/who-are-the-pleiadians
- Hermann, Ray “What are Demons and the Nephilim? — and that Mayhem before the Flood of Noah?” (OBS, 29 October 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/what-are-demons-and-the-nephilim-and-that-mayhem-before-the-flood-of-noah/
- (1) Hermann, Ray, “God, Aliens, & UFOs”, (OBS, 16 June 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/god-aliens-ufos/
(2) Hermann, Ray, “Angels from Heaven or Aliens from Outer Space?” (OBS, 12 November 2020), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/angels-from-heaven-or-aliens-from-outer-space/
- “Who Discovered DNA”, (Explorable, retrieved 23 March 2021), https://explorable.com/who-discovered-dna
- DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid; The genetic information carried in the molecule called DNA determines every inherited physical characteristic of every living thing.
“DNA” (Encyclopedia Britannica, retrieved 23 March 2021), https://www.britannica.com/science/DNA
- “Francis Crick”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 March 2021), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Crick
- “Francis Crick and Directed Panspermia”, (Of Bacteria and Men, 5 August 2012), “Francis Crick and Directed Panspermia”, (Of Bacteria and Men, 5 August 2012), https://ofbacteriaandmen.blogspot.com/2012/08/francis-crick-and-directed-panspermia.html
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, (Ed.) Arthur Farstad, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), pp. 1294–1295.
- Robertson, Archibald Thomas, Word Pictures in the New Testament, (Nashville TN: Holman Reference/B&H Publishing, 1 August 2000), Matthew 24:24.
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, (Ed.) Arthur Farstad, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), pp. 2055-2056.
- Davis, James F., CSB Study Bible: Notes, (Nashville TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017, 1913).
- Jamieson, Robert, et al., Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), vol. 2, p. 398.
- Hoffman, David, “The End-Times Instruction Jesus Gave That Christians Often Overlook”, (Charisma News, 18 March 2020), https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/80377-the-end-times-instruction-jesus-gave-that-christians-often-overlook
- “Paul Harvey”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 March 2021), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Harvey
- “If I Were the Devil”, written and recorded by Paul Harvey; video production by Wicked Sway, Benson, uploaded 2014, (Licensed to YouTube by Triple Vision, and others) – AUDIO-VISUAL PRESENTATION: https://youtu.be/QGrWvrGDOXg
- “Aaron Lewis Performs ‘If I Were the Devil’ on Huckabee”, (TBN television show): Song artist: Aaron Lewis; Song writers: Trent Tomlinson and Houston Phillips; Album: State I’m In, (song released 2019) – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/vexgMOqBC_M