Matthew 24:11
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
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(11) Many false prophets shall rise.—The later writings of the New Testament bear repeated testimony to this feature of the ten years that preceded the destruction of Jerusalem. St. John speaks of false prophets (1John 4:1), and many antichrists (1John 2:18); St. Peter of “false teachers” (2Peter 2:1), like the false prophets of old; St. Paul of men who should give heed to seducing spirits (1Timothy 4:1). These show the extent of the evil which was the natural outcome of the feverish excitement of the people. In Josephus (Wars, vi. 5, § 2) we have the record of this working of false prophecy in more immediate connection with Judæa and Jerusalem. Up to the last moment of the capture of the city by Titus, men were buoyed up with false hopes of deliverance, based on the predictions of fanatics and impostors.

24:4-28 The disciples had asked concerning the times, When these things should be? Christ gave them no answer to that; but they had also asked, What shall be the sign? This question he answers fully. The prophecy first respects events near at hand, the destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish church and state, the calling of the Gentiles, and the setting up of Christ's kingdom in the world; but it also looks to the general judgment; and toward the close, points more particularly to the latter. What Christ here said to his disciples, tended more to promote caution than to satisfy their curiosity; more to prepare them for the events that should happen, than to give a distinct idea of the events. This is that good understanding of the times which all should covet, thence to infer what Israel ought to do. Our Saviour cautions his disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. And he foretells wars and great commotions among nations. From the time that the Jews rejected Christ, and he left their house desolate, the sword never departed from them. See what comes of refusing the gospel. Those who will not hear the messengers of peace, shall be made to hear the messengers of war. But where the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid. It is against the mind of Christ, that his people should have troubled hearts, even in troublous times. When we looked forward to the eternity of misery that is before the obstinate refusers of Christ and his gospel, we may truly say, The greatest earthly judgments are but the beginning of sorrows. It is comforting that some shall endure even to the end. Our Lord foretells the preaching of the gospel in all the world. The end of the world shall not be till the gospel has done its work. Christ foretells the ruin coming upon the people of the Jews; and what he said here, would be of use to his disciples, for their conduct and for their comfort. If God opens a door of escape, we ought to make our escape, otherwise we do not trust God, but tempt him. It becomes Christ's disciples, in times of public trouble, to be much in prayer: that is never out of season, but in a special manner seasonable when we are distressed on every side. Though we must take what God sends, yet we may pray against sufferings; and it is very trying to a good man, to be taken by any work of necessity from the solemn service and worship of God on the sabbath day. But here is one word of comfort, that for the elect's sake these days shall be made shorter than their enemies designed, who would have cut all off, if God, who used these foes to serve his own purpose, had not set bounds to their wrath. Christ foretells the rapid spreading of the gospel in the world. It is plainly seen as the lightning. Christ preached his gospel openly. The Romans were like an eagle, and the ensign of their armies was an eagle. When a people, by their sin, make themselves as loathsome carcasses, nothing can be expected but that God should send enemies to destroy them. It is very applicable to the day of judgment, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in that day, 2Th 2:1. Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us.And many false prophets - Many men pretending to be prophets or foretellers of future events. This refers not to the false "Messiahs" of which he had spoken Matthew 24:5, but to prophets who should appear during the siege of the city. Of them Josephus says: "The tyrannical zealots who ruled the city suborned "many false prophets" to declare that aid would be given to the people from heaven. This was done to prevent them from attempting to desert, and to inspire confidence in God." - "Jewish Wars," b. 6 chapter 5, section 2, 3.CHAPTER 24

Mt 24:1-51. Christ's Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Warnings Suggested by It to Prepare for His Second Coming. ( = Mr 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36).

For the exposition, see on [1355]Mr 13:1-37.

See Poole on "Matthew 24:12".

And many false prophets shall rise,.... Out of, from among the churches of Christ; at least under the name of Christians; for false teachers are here meant, men of heretical principles, pretending to a spirit of prophecy, and to new revelations, and a better understanding of the Scriptures; such as Simon Magus, Ebion, and Cerinthus, who denied the proper deity, and real humanity of Christ; Carpocrates, and the Gnostics his followers, the Nicolaitans, Hymcneus, Philetus, and others:

and shall deceive many: as they all of them had their followers, and large numbers of them, whose faith was subverted by them; and who followed their pernicious ways, being imposed upon and seduced by their fair words, specious pretences, and licentious practices.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Matthew 24:11. Besides this ruinous apostasy in consequence of persecution from without, there is the propagation of error by false Christian teachers living in the very bosom of the church itself (comp. Matthew 7:15). These latter should not be more precisely defined (Köstlin: “extreme antinomian tendencies;” Hilgenfeld: “those who adhere to Pauline views;” comp. also Weiss, Bibl. Theol. p. 586, ed. 2). The history of the apostolic age has sufficiently confirmed this prediction, Acts 20:30; 1 John 4:1.

Matthew 24:11. ψευδοπροφῆται, false prophets. The connection requires that these should be within the Christian community (otherwise in Matthew 24:24), giving false presentations of the faith with corrupt motives. A common feature in connection with new religious movements (vide on Matthew 7:15).

11. false prophets] At the siege of Jerusalem “false prophets suborned by the Zealots kept the people in a state of feverish excitement, as though the appointed Deliverer would still appear.” Milman’s History of the Jews, ii. 371.

Matthew 24:11-13. Καὶ πολλοὶ, κ.τ.λ., and many, etc.) Faith, love, and hope must be anxiously preserved.

Verse 11. - False prophets (ver. 24). These were not necessarily predictors or soothsayers, but teachers having, as they said, a message from God. Such pretenders have arisen in every great crisis; but the Jews a few years later were deceived continually by fanatics or impostors, who professed to be inspired, and premised the infatuated people deliverance, urging them to resist the Romans, in expectation of the coming of Messiah to lead them to immediate victory (comp. Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 6:05. 2). The designation "false prophets" applies also to those heretical teachers who vexed the peace of the early Church, and of whom St. John expressly speaks, "Many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). These were Judaizing and Gnostic teachers, who tried to mar the good work of the apostles (see Acts 20:30; Romans 16:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 11:13; Galatians 1:7-9; Colossians 2:18-23, etc.). Throughout the Christian ages heresiarchs have always raised their evil voices, and the history of the Church is very much composed of accounts of such teachers, and of the efforts made to suppress them and to correct their pernicious doctrines. Matthew 24:11
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