“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” Mark 13:4.

The disciples asked Yeshua, what then are these signs (of the end times)? We are so privileged today to have the words of prophecy, the answer, coming from Yeshua Himself. This prophecy, starting from vs.4 and continuing through to vs.51 is filled with information but coated by such a spirit of love and comfort that at the end, the reader will feel protected and sheltered by His presence despite its harsh realities.

Verses 3-8 contain 4 stages of prophecy covering the times preceding the end as well as covering the time of the Church Age, that is, the last 2000 years up to today. While it began in the first century, its intensity and force will increase, especially in these last days.

In the last verse of this section, vs.8, Yeshua says: “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs”. The particularity of birth pangs is that they increase in intensity and frequency as time goes on. Let us consider the first thing that Yeshua says which is very revealing. These are four factors that have characterized the last 2000 years, with increasing strength and frequency.


The first one is the appearance of false messiahs and prophets.

The second is war and rumors of war.

The third are all the natural disturbances.

The fourth concern famines and coldness of the heart.


Let us look at the first one in greater detail. Yeshua addresses us with: See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am’ and will mislead many. Mark 13:5-6.


In the Clouds

Notice that while we are amid an important end time prophetic chapter, Yeshua’s first concern is about our spiritual growth. Isn’t that amazing! While it is good to know about all the wars and natural disturbances, our primary concern must be our relationship with the Lord, which needs to be fed and refreshed daily.

Now, let’s take some time to consider the traits of those who are being misled. The Greek word for misled tells us a lot. It is planeo, where we get our word planet. What is the relationship between being misled and planets? The one who is being misled is compared to the one who looks up at the planets going round and round while there are rivers of opportunities circling beneath his feet. The one who is misled is like the one who lives in the clouds, who is in another dimension not realizing what is happening down here on earth.

From this word came the Greek, planḗtēs which was used to describe a restless wanderer and an unstable person. Another word from planeo is plánē which means vacillation or error.

The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible done in the 3rd century before Yeshua, used this word to describe Israel’s 40-year desert wanderings. A trip that should have taken a little over 10 days, turned out to be 40 years. This is what misleaders want; to waist our time and damage our relationship with God and with each other.


The Devious Plan of Action

How then do these individuals mislead the many? They have a strategy which is found in vs.6. This is how Yeshua describes the process. He begins by saying how Many will come in My name, saying, I am!and will mislead many.  First, they come in His Name, so they look like us, they appear to be believers, however, as time goes, they reveal their true colors by saying, “I am”. This is a claim of divinity.

I am in the Greek are the same words we read in the John passage when Yeshua said, Before Abraham was, I am, thus affirming His divinity. (John 8:58). From pretending to be like us, they soon go onto claiming special status, even divinity.


The Falling Away of Many

And they are smart: for they would not overtly say, “I am the Messiah”, but they will subtly pretend it in many other ways, and often by claiming to have new and direct revelation from God, having gained a special understanding of passages no one before had ever discovered. They might also redefine some major teachings of God found in the Scriptures demanding that their unique interpretation not be refuted. This only serves to mislead the many.  And there are many. It is with the word many that the verse begins, for many will come, and many will fall. So let us not be surprised.

 This warning about false teachers finds its way in all the letters of the New Testament, the Brit Chadashah. Did you know that every epistle which was specifically written to the believers contains a warning about false teachers, false messiahs and false prophets.


Paul the Prophet

From Romans to Jude, even from Acts to Revelation, there is at least one warning in each New Testament book. Paul was so aware of this threat to the believer that he gave a prophecy to the congregation in Ephesus. From Acts 20:29-30, we read, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock… speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. And indeed, it happened as he said for later we read Yeshua’s words to this same congregation telling her, I have this against you, that you have left your first love Rev.2:4. They had become cold for they drew away from God because of these wolves who misled the many. In 2Corinthians 11:13b the writer is angry at the presence of these whom he calls false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Messiah.

And see how angry Paul is in Philippians 2:2 when he discovered that some false teachers were present in the congregation itself, Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.

Then see what Peter says in 2Pet. 2:1-2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. When one reads all these warnings contained in the books of the Brit Chadashah, one gets the point that scripture is not exaggerating the ill consequences resulting from false teaching.

Please refer to this link and read through the verses (one from each New Testament book) to realize what responsibility we as believers have to watch out for unsound doctrine.