The very first thing Jesus warned His followers to expect after His ascension was deception.
Matt. 24:3-6 (NKJV) 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Before even addressing the disciples’ question about the signs of His coming, Jesus warned them that deception was coming. Given the context, the primary topic of deception concerned eschatology, the end of the age and Jesus’ return. This is precisely what began to occur quickly as evidenced by Paul’s correction of the Corinthian heresy addressed in 1 Corinthians 15. This early error denied the bodily resurrection at Christ’s return and substituted the Platonic hope of the ascent of the ghost into heaven upon death. Paul also had to deal with another eschatological heresy which was a very ancient version of preterism. This heresy taught that the resurrection and second coming was past, thus not literal and bodily but “spiritual.” A third early eschatological heresy which Paul addressed was taught in the Thessalonian assembly. This heresy claimed that Jesus’ return to earth was imminent, and even involved someone forging a false epistle in Paul’s name to that effect. In responding to this erroneous eschatology, Paul even alluded to Jesus’ words above, “Take heed that no one deceives you,” by saying, “Let no one deceive you by any means …” After John’s death, the last of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, the ancient and apostolic eschatology (Chiliasm) was eventually replaced by amillennialism (which denied the future reign of Christ on earth and thus the Abrahamic inheritance). Eventually several other false eschatological schemes were introduced, including post-millennialism and dispensationalism.
Some might object to this interpretation of Jesus’ warning by claiming that the deceivers were false-christs, and that none of the eschatological heresies or systems mentioned above were introduced by men claiming to be the Messiah. Jesus indicated that these deceivers would come “in My name saying ‘I am the Christ'” and deceive His followers. However, in the above translation the words “I am the Christ” are misleading because the translators put quotation marks around them as though the deceivers are speaking about themselves, claiming to be the Christ (Messiah). Yet that is not likely Jesus’ meaning, but rather that the deceivers would acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ. These words should not be in quotes. The deception is not that people believe these deceivers are actually the Christ. Rather, they deceive Christians concerning the end-times by first acknowledging that Jesus is the Christ while they then introduce their errors and heresies concerning the end-times.
This meaning is supported by the clause “in My name.” The Greek reads: πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, literally, “For many will come upon [the basis of] My name.” The preposition ἐπὶ (on/upon) with a dative case object means “on the basis of.” The use of ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί (“on [the basis of] the name”) is found in several passages such as the following:
Matthew 18:5 (NKJV) “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”
Mark 9:39 (NKJV) But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.”
Luke 9:48-49 (NKJV) 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” 49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
Luke 24:47 (NKJV) “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Acts 2:38 (NKJV) Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
These passages are sufficient to show that the clause ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί, (upon the name) means “on the basis of the name.” It does not refer to someone claiming to be the Messiah (using His name or title as one’s own). Rather, they claim to act on His behalf as in all of the examples provided above. Consequently, saying that “I am the Christ” or “I am He” means that they publicly acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. This makes their deceiving Christians much more insidious since the vast majority of Christians would not be deceived by someone else claiming to be the Messiah. Jesus’ warning concerns any false teachers who acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ but introduce errors and heresies concerning eschatology, His coming and the end of the age.
The above warning of Jesus was meant to include the entire time of His absence and was not specifically a sign of His coming. Jesus included the coming of these deceivers among the things that must occur “but the end is not yet.”
However, in verse 11 Jesus returned to the topic of the specific signs of His coming and the end of the age. One significant sign of Jesus’ coming is given in verse 11. “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” The deceivers mentioned in verse 5 are not called either “false prophets” or “false christs,” terms which appear only later in relation to the events just before Christ returns. The false prophets mentioned in vs. 11 are in part the cause of the great apostasy which precedes the arrival of Antichrist. So they must be distinguished from the deceivers in verse 5.
Matt. 24:10-15 (NKJV) 10 “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand),”
The apostasy of Jesus’ followers mentioned here is indeed a significant sign that Jesus’ coming is very close because Paul called this “the falling away” and used this as well as the revealing of the Man of Sin (the abomination of desolation) as the two things that must come before Jesus’ coming becomes imminent.
It is therefore clear that the “false prophets” who arise and deceive many of Christ’s followers, causing a mass apostasy from the Faith, arrive very close to the end of the age, but before the arrival of the Man of Sin. Once the “abomination of desolation” occurs, the time of “great tribulation” will commence. During that final 42-month period, there will be both “false prophets” and “false christs.”
Matt. 24:23-27 (NKJV) 23 “Then if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or `There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Consequently, we have three time periods described by Jesus during which mass deception would take place. The first concerns false teachers who acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ yet teach false eschatological systems which misrepresent the true Christian Hope and the signs which precede Jesus’ coming. The second concerns “false prophets” just prior to the “abomination of desolation” who are in part responsible for the great apostasy from the true Faith prior to the arrival of Antichrist. The third period involves “false prophets” and “false christs” who are able to perform great signs and wonders by the forces of darkness rather than the true power of God. Paul also indicated that when the Man of Sin arrives, this will be accompanied by “lying signs and wonders,” something he borrowed from Jesus’ words.
2 Thess. 2:9-12 (NKJV) 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
During the time of great tribulation (following the abomination of desolation), God will permit Satan to use his agents to perform great miracles just as He did with Pharaoh’s magicians who were able to duplicate some of the signs Moses performed before Pharoah. The intent is the same, to harden the hearts of those who are not truly following Christ with all their hearts, those who are not counted among the “overcomers” mentioned in Revelation who are the ones that “endure to the end.”
However, there is no indication that the “false prophets” who deceive many Christians prior to the abomination of desolation, who are in part responsible for the great “falling away,” are actually able to perform genuine miracles. That seems to occur only when the “Restrainer,” who is Michael and his angels, releases the “mystery of iniquity” which John called the “spirit of antichrist.” The “Restrainer” will be taken out of the way so that the Man of Sin may be revealed.
The “false prophets” who in part are the cause of the great apostasy which precedes Antichrist are already here. They pretend to speak for God, but God has not spoken to them. They are like the false prophets who rose up just before God’s judgment fell upon Israel when He sent Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple.
Ezekiel 13:1-9 (NKJV) 1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’” 3 Thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5 You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the LORD. 6 They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD!’ But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. 7 Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The LORD says,’ but I have not spoken.” 8 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,” says the Lord GOD. 9 “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”
Thanks to the gross errors of the Charismatic movement which has always flirted with Rome, their dabbling in the Occult, and especially the so-called “New Apostolic Reformation” which it has birthed, these false prophets are everywhere. They are allied with and included in the title “Evangelical Christians,” and they are openly in league with and support Rome, Mystery Babylon. One of them (Paula White, who claims to be a prophet and apostle) was President Trump’s personal pastor. Others were on his Evangelical advisory committee.
Here are some samples of their “Evangelical Christian” tom-foolery.
The false prophets double down …
These false prophets, false apostles, and rebellious pastors have also openly defied the Covid social distancing orders by state governors, and openly promoted conspiracy theories concerning Covid and vaccines.
The Evangelical false prophets and the loyal Evangelical Trump supporters are converging to paint a horrific picture of Jesus Christ and Christianity for all the world to see.
Matt. 5:13 (NKJV) 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
It is partly because of the foolishness and disobedience of Christians, because they are “salt” that has lost its distinct Christ-like flavor, that “the nations rage and plot a vain thing …”
Psalm 2 (NKJV) 1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” 7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.'” 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
 2 Tim. 2:16-18
 2 Thess. 2:1-3
 2 Thess. 2:3
 2 Thess. 2:1-8
 Rev. 11:2; Rev. 13:5
 Exod. 7:8-23
 Rev. 12:11
 Dan. 10:12-13,20-21; Dan. 11:1; Dan. 12:1; Rev. 12:7-9
 1 John 4:1-3
 2 Thess. 2:7-8