Mark 13:22
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible.
Sermons
Danger from Those Coming in the Name of ChristAugustus J. C. Hare.Mark 13:22
False ChristsMark 13:22
False ProphetsMark 13:22
False Prophets in SpainFreeman.Mark 13:22
Wonder-Working ImpostorsJ. Morison, D. D.Mark 13:22
WatchingR. Green Mark 13:1-37
The End ImminentJ.J. Given Mark 13:14-23
Dark SayingsE. Johnson Mark 13:14-31


I. SACRED LITERATURE, LIKE NATURE, IS FULL OF HINTED TRUTH. "Truths in nature darkly join." So in Scripture. The mystic element in Daniel and Scripture generally was fully recognized by Christ.

II. PRUDENCE IN MEN IS THE REFLECTION OF PROVIDENCE IN GOD. It is the light within us. In unsettled times we must be more than usually on our guard. Keen love of truth will make the mind critical and sceptical of the talk that goes on. Let us not have to say, surprised by calamity, "We might have known this before."

III. THERE IS A METHOD AND A SELECTION IN THE WAYS OF PROVIDENCE. When the observer of physical nature finds a principle of "natural selection," he finds only the visible counterpart of a law in the kingdom of God. God, through all changes, "gathers his chosen" from the end of the land to the end of the sky.

IV. CHANGES IN THE SPIRITUAL KINGDOM ARE NATURAL, AND THOSE THAT ARE NATURAL HAVE A SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE. Changes in plants visibly show forth changes in institutions. Below both is truth, is life. And as Christ is one with life and truth, his words abide. There is a moral conservation of force through all evolutions. - J.









For false Christs.
David George, e.g., who ultimately settled at Basle, where he died in 1556. He claimed, according to the account of Dr. Henry More, to be the true Christ, the dear Son of God, born not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. He was to restore the house of Israel, and re-erect the tabernacle of God, not by afflictions and death, as the other Messiah, but by that sweetness, love, and grace, which were given him of the Father. He had the power of the remission of sins; and had come to administer the last judgment. He averred that "the Holy Scriptures: the sayings and testimonies of the prophets, of Christ, and of His apostles, do all point, if rightly understood, in their true mystery, to the glorious coming of David George, who is greater than the former Christ, as being born of the Spirit, and not of the flesh." This David George, says Dr. More, was a man "of notable natural parts, of comely person, and a graceful presence." And he had many adherents, who believed in him. In our own day there are persons — out of asylums — who put forth corresponding claims. There is lying before the writer a "Tract on the Second Advent fulfilled," in which it is said that "the enrolling of the saints commenced on the anniversary of the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles of the year 1868, i.e., on the 9th of October, 1868. The following," it is added, "is the declaration to be made and signed: — I believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah at His first coming, and the antitypical Paschal Lamb Who died for sin in allegory, and I believe John Cochran of Glasgow to be that Messiah at His second coming, and the antitypical High Priest who has taken away sin in reality."

Lodowick Muggleton, e.g., who on the title page of his "True Interpretation of the whole Book of the Revelation of St. John," describes himself as "one of the two last commissioned witnesses and prophets of the only high, immortal, glorious God, Christ Jesus." Madame Antoinette Bourignon, before him, was a far nobler being, yet she declared to Christian de Cort, "I am sent from God to bring light to the world, and to bear witness to the truth. He has sent me to tell that the last times are come; that the world is judged, and the sentence is irrevocable; that the plagues are begun, and will not cease till all evil be rooted out; and that Jesus Christ will come shortly to the earth to finish this, and then He will continue to reign with 'men of goodwill,' who shall enjoy eternal peace. I am sent with a commission to declare all these things to men, to the end that peradventure some of them may be converted and repent, that they may reign with Jesus Christ in His glory." And again, she says, "I am certainly sent from God to declare the truth of everything."

There was great excitement in Madrid owing to the announcement that the world would come to an end on the 24th of June, 1886, that day being the conjunction of the festivals of St. John and of the Corpus Christi. The belief had taken such hold among the lower and superstitious classes of Madrid, that the fright was general, the prophecy having been printed and circulated in thousands. During the past two or three weeks many people have spent their days in fasting, prayer, and weeping, and yesterday the churches and confessionals were crowded with women.

(Freeman.)

In the frescoes of Signorelli we have "The Teaching of Antichrist" — no repulsive figure, but a grand personage in flowing robes, and with a noble countenance, which at a distance might easily be taken for the Saviour. To him the crowd are eagerly gathering and listening, and it is only when you draw close that you can discover in his harder and cynical expression, and from the evil spirit whispering in his ear, that it is not Christ.

(Augustus J. C. Hare.)

SIGNS AND WONDERS
"Lying wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9) no doubt — wonders that serve a purpose of imposition, partly, it may be, on the wonder workers themselves, and partly on those whom they wish to attach to themselves. There are wonderful idiosyncrasies among men, that give scope for the performance of such wonders. In some natures — as in Valentine Greatrakes and Gassner (see Howitt's "History of the Supernatural"), singular therapeutic energies instinctively well up and flow over. In others there is a singular power of something like "second sight," or "clairvoyance," turning fitfully its penetrative eye, now upon objects distant in space, and now upon objects distant in time — though in a way far removed from infallibility. This clairvoyant eye often takes cognizance of only frivolous realities, and seems blind to things of moment. Still its peculiarity is fitted — when once a willing and shadow fanaticism tries its hand at understanding it — to be a "lying wonder." There are other remarkable endowments and instincts, which crop up at times in exceptional idiosyncrasies, and may give occasion either to self-delusion, or to deliberate artifice, or to a minglement of the two perversities.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

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