The Coming Storm

The New Testament warns repeatedly and consistently that before Jesus arrives at the end of the age the church will find itself under assault from within by deceivers and false prophets. And before the great and final “Day of the Lord” begins, the disciples of Jesus will be confronted by the “Man of Lawlessness,” a malevolent figure linked inextricably to the coming “Apostasy.”

Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the “many deceivers” who would come and “deceive many,” namely, “false prophets” and “false messiahs” who cause “lawlessness” to spread, propagate false information about the “coming of the Son of Man,” and use “signs and wonders” to deceive the very “elect.”

Storm - Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash
[Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash]

Only the believer who “
endures to the end” through this coming onslaught will be saved - (Matthew 24:5, 23-27).


Similarly, in the Book of Revelation, the “False Prophet” performs “great signs” that deceive many into giving their allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea.”

Already in the first century, deceivers had infiltrated the churches of Asia - “false apostles,” the “Nicolaitans,” the “teachings of Balaam,” and the “prophetess, Jezebel” - causing some believers to engage in idolatry and otherwise compromise with the surrounding pagan society.

Even in those early congregations, “Mystery Babylon” and the Dragon’s agents were at work to destroy the churches of God in the same way that Satan has attacked the assembly from within throughout Church History. This assault will intensify during the final period of the present age.

And in Revelation, Satan’s “war” is NOT waged against Israel or other nation-states, but against the “saints” - those who have the “faith of Jesus” and his “testimony” - the very ones who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” And this “war” includes the invasion of the church by deception and deceivers.


The Apostle Paul is specific when writing the Thessalonians. The “Day of the Lord” and the “arrival” of Jesus will not come until two events occur – the “Apostasy” and the “revelation of the Man of Lawlessness” when he “seats himself in the Sanctuary of God.”

Consistently in the Greek scriptures, the term “apostasy” or ‘apostasia’ refers to the abandonment of the true apostolic faith. When Paul warns that this “Lawless one” will deceive those who “refuse the love of the truth,” he is describing Christians who apostatize, and this is borne out when he defines the “truth” as the “tradition you received” from him.

Paul bases this malevolent figure on the “Little Horn” in the Book of Daniel, the “king of fierce countenance” who used his understanding of “dark sayings” and his “mighty power that was not his own” to “ruin the saints” with his “flatteries” and promises. His wickedness reached its peak when he installed the “Abomination that Desolates” in the “Sanctuary.”

That figure serves as Paul’s model for the “Lawlessness One” and the “Apostasy” caused by him. Elsewhere, the apostle CONSISTENTLY describes the church as the “Sanctuary of God,” not any stone building in the city of Jerusalem.

Paul also warned Timothy about this future apostasy. The time will come when “some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” And in the last days, “evil men and howling imposters will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” And considering what is coming, Timothy must:

  • Preach the word, and be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables” – (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:13, 4:1-4).


The Apostle Peter also warned of future “false prophets” and “false teachers” who will disseminate false doctrines and wreak havoc in the church - (2 Peter 2:1-3).

And in his epistles, John speaks of the coming “Antichrist,” but of more immediate concern are the “many antichrists” that are active IN THE CHURCH. The “last days” are underway even now, and this is demonstrated by the “Spirit of Antichrist” that is at work in the deceivers and “false prophets” who are disseminating false doctrines among believers – (1 John 2:18-22, 4:1-3).


Scripture provides a consistent warning. Before the return of Jesus, the church will experience the “Apostasy,” an influx of “false prophets” and other deceivers, and the unveiling of the “Man of Lawlessness, the Son of Destruction.”

While persecution will certainly come, the stress of the New Testament warnings is on the danger posed by false teachers and false prophets in the church.

But the church is not without hope. The very fact that Jesus and his apostles warned of these coming events indicates that disciples can avoid being overwhelmed by this coming deception and darkness. And that is accomplished by heeding the teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

As Paul assures his readers, faithful believers will not be overtaken by the “Lawless One” despite his mighty “signs and wonders” if they “hold fast” to the APOSTOLIC TRADITION handed down by him and his coworkers. And that “tradition” is preserved in the pages of the Greek New Testament – (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17).


Ekklésia - Assembly of God

Mercy and Enemies