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Thread: False Christs or False Christians?

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    tWebber
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    False Christs or False Christians?

    "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." - Matthew 24:5.

    I believe the common argument here is individuals rising up and claiming that they themselves are Christ. An example would be Charles Manson who directly claimed he was Christ (note that there aren't that many individuals that directly claimed they were Christ, as a lot of so-called Christ claimants of religious cults didn't actually claim they were Christ, though they were dubbed that way by the mainstream media).

    I contend that this is not the case and not how it should be translated. I believe Jesus was actually referring to the fake Christians of Matthew 7:21-23.

    I have a few reasons to support this, but the main reason is that the passage doesn't make sense as false Christ claimants. How can they come in the name of Christ at the same time declaring that they themselves are Christ? In order to get the meaning of a person claiming to be Christ themselves, you'd have to assume the phrase "in my name" should really mean something like "in my disposition," which doesn't seem to support the words used.

    I think it should instead be translated "For many shall come in my name, professing I am Christ; and shall deceive many." He was referring to false Christians (faith healers, prosperity teachers, outright Christian scam artists... typically the ones that get the most national attention), and he was referring to the generation of the 21st century where the word "many" has the most meaning, because of, once again, our communication technology.

    As an aside, can preterists demonstrate there was even one individual (let alone "many") who claimed to be Christ prior to 70 AD and fooled many?
    Last edited by seanD; 01-28-2020 at 02:45 PM.
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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." - Matthew 24:5.

    I believe the common argument here is individuals rising up and claiming that they themselves are Christ. An example would be Charles Manson who directly claimed he was Christ (note that there aren't that many individuals that directly claimed they were Christ, as a lot of so-called Christ claimants of religious cults didn't actually claim they were Christ, though they were dubbed that way by the mainstream media).

    I contend that this is not the case and not how it should be translated. I believe Jesus was actually referring to the fake Christians of Matthew 7:21-23.

    I have a few reasons to support this, but the main reason is that the passage doesn't make sense as false Christ claimants. How can they come in the name of Christ at the same time declaring that they themselves are Christ? In order to get the meaning of a person claiming to be Christ themselves, you'd have to assume the phrase "in my name" should really mean something like "in my disposition," which doesn't seem to support the words used.

    I think it should instead be translated "For many shall come in my name, professing I am Christ; and shall deceive many." He was referring to false Christians (faith healers, prosperity teachers, outright Christian scam artists... typically the ones that get the most national attention), and he was referring to the generation of the 21st century where the word "many" has the most meaning, because of, once again, our communication technology.
    It's a bit of a stretch. Why wouldn't Christ have used false teachers instead of False Christs?

    As
    an aside, can preterists demonstrate there was even one individual (let alone "many") who claimed to be Christ prior to 70 AD and fooled many?
    There's at least 3 mentioned in Acts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    It's a bit of a stretch. Why wouldn't Christ have used false teachers instead of False Christs?

    AsThere's at least 3 mentioned in Acts.
    Because my argument was that he wasn't saying they were claiming to be Christ themselves. They were professing Christ because they came in his name. IOW, here's another translation just to better clarify what I mean:

    "Many will come in my name, admitting (professing) that I (Jesus) am the Christ, but will deceive many." This goes well with Matthew 7:21-23 where they're saying we did this and that "in your name."

    Can you give me those passages from Acts?
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    Because my argument was that he wasn't saying they were claiming to be Christ themselves. They were professing Christ because they came in his name. IOW, here's another translation just to better clarify what I mean:

    "Many will come in my name, admitting (professing) that I (Jesus) am the Christ, but will deceive many." This goes well with Matthew 7:21-23 where they're saying we did this and that "in your name."

    Can you give me those passages from Acts?
    Or it could mean that if they were claiming to be Christ they were literally "coming in his name" because they were claiming to be him. They were using his name.

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=seanD;706643]Because my argument was that he wasn't saying they were claiming to be Christ themselves. They were professing Christ because they came in his name. IOW, here's another translation just to better clarify what I mean:

    "Many will come in my name, admitting (professing) that I (Jesus) am the Christ, but will deceive many." This goes well with Matthew 7:21-23 where they're saying we did this and that "in your name."[quote]Neither was my argument... My point was why didn't he use a different term if he meant other Christians.

    Can you give me those passages from Acts?
    There are 2 in Acts 5 and one in Act 19. And that's not just preterists that recognize that. Several websites that are not preterist say the same thing.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." - Matthew 24:5.

    I believe the common argument here is individuals rising up and claiming that they themselves are Christ. An example would be Charles Manson who directly claimed he was Christ (note that there aren't that many individuals that directly claimed they were Christ, as a lot of so-called Christ claimants of religious cults didn't actually claim they were Christ, though they were dubbed that way by the mainstream media).

    I contend that this is not the case and not how it should be translated. I believe Jesus was actually referring to the fake Christians of Matthew 7:21-23.

    I have a few reasons to support this, but the main reason is that the passage doesn't make sense as false Christ claimants. How can they come in the name of Christ at the same time declaring that they themselves are Christ? In order to get the meaning of a person claiming to be Christ themselves, you'd have to assume the phrase "in my name" should really mean something like "in my disposition," which doesn't seem to support the words used.

    I think it should instead be translated "For many shall come in my name, professing I am Christ; and shall deceive many." He was referring to false Christians (faith healers, prosperity teachers, outright Christian scam artists... typically the ones that get the most national attention), and he was referring to the generation of the 21st century where the word "many" has the most meaning, because of, once again, our communication technology.

    As an aside, can preterists demonstrate there was even one individual (let alone "many") who claimed to be Christ prior to 70 AD and fooled many?
    Brilliant, sean. I agree, except I think He meant both, as I've already expounded on in my "double fulfillment" understandings in other threads. But I had not thought of this interpretation. Way to make the Lord a little clearer to us all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Neither was my argument... My point was why didn't he use a different term if he meant other Christians.


    There are 2 in Acts 5 and one in Act 19. And that's not just preterists that recognize that. Several websites that are not preterist say the same thing.


    If you're talking about when he uses the term "false christs" in Matthew 24:24 (it would help if you'd use specific verses to clarify things), I believe this is an entirely different time and situation, thus a different timeline in the OD. The first time precedes or is taking place during the Beginning of Sorrows, whereas 24:24 is taking place well into the Tribulation. The second really are false christs, and notice he's not associating them to himself or the church like the first passage (they will "come in my name").

    And yes, both Luke and Josephus do mention messiah claimants during the first century, but these were self-proclaimed Jewish messiahs who claimed to be the deliverer the Jews were erroneously expecting and thus had completely different objectives than the church had at the time. Were Christians deceived by this? I don't know of any ECF that has claimed this to be the case. Jesus' use of "they will come in my name" and his warning to them that they not be deceived (obviously they'd know a fake Jewish messiah of the first century) to me specifies a distinct association with the Christian church.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    And yes, both Luke and Josephus do mention messiah claimants during the first century, but these were self-proclaimed Jewish messiahs who claimed to be the deliverer the Jews were erroneously expecting and thus had completely different objectives than the church had at the time. Were Christians deceived by this? I don't know of any ECF that has claimed this to be the case.
    Jesus added "if possible" in v 24, so I don't think it's necessary to find any patristic evidence that any Christians were deceived. In any event, anyone who was deceived would then fall outside that camp anyway.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanD View Post
    Because my argument was that he wasn't saying they were claiming to be Christ themselves. They were professing Christ because they came in his name. IOW, here's another translation just to better clarify what I mean:

    "Many will come in my name, admitting (professing) that I (Jesus) am the Christ, but will deceive many." This goes well with Matthew 7:21-23 where they're saying we did this and that "in your name."

    Can you give me those passages from Acts?
    Can you give me the source for that translation, or is just a hypothetical you came up with?
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Can you give me the source for that translation, or is just a hypothetical you came up with?
    I'm actually using the current translation and trying to make sense of it. The word "saying" has pretty broad usage in the Greek. But, irregardless of that -- how can a person claim that they're Christ themselves but still come in his (Jesus Christ) name? I'm trying to read the passage more logically. Everything else -- i.e. how they could be deceived by this, why and how many deceived by this, etc. -- is secondary.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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