From Jim O'Brien
February 22, 2019

White Horse of Deception

Hi Friend,

Once when Jesus was walking through Jerusalem with His disciples they were admiring the buildings. It was a reasonable thing to do at the time. The original temple built by Solomon was the most magnificent building on earth. While Herod's temple lacked the grandeur of the original it was still an outstanding edifice.

Jesus shocked the group by telling the disciples that these buildings would be destroyed and "not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." (Matthew 24:2). It's a plain statement so it makes one wonder why Christians might think that the Wailing Wall is the legitimate site of the temple. If all the stones were thrown down when the temple was destroyed, why would the wall still exist? But that's another discussion.

Jesus' response was so startling that they knew instinctively He was talking about the End Time. So a pensive quietness surrounded the men until they could talk in private. "When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" they asked when they were alone with Him. (verse 3).

His next answer is just as shocking! "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name claiming 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many." (verse 5).

There are several things to be learned from this statement but there is only time to briefly address a couple. First, deception may not be the worst of flaws but it is the mother of all sin.

Second, it's interesting that Jesus is cautioning His disciples. Worse, He is saying that other Christians will do the deceiving! We know the world is deceived-or at least we ought to. Just look at Congress. But Jesus is clearly warning that some Christians will deceive truth seekers.

To return to the earlier point, deception is the mother of all sin. Notice what the Apostle John writes about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. "I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, 'Come!' I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." (Revelation 6:1-2)

The first of the four horsemen is white. It has the appearance of goodness, but like all deceivers it leads down the wrong path. Following the White Horse is the Red Horse of war, the Black Horse of famine and the Grey Horse of disease epidemics. It's a logical sequence of destruction that begins with deception.

Wars begin with religious deception. That thought was reinforced by Hoda Muthana who left a home in Alabama to join Isis. She was living in the greatest country in the world but was convinced America was terrible and the Isis cause was righteous. Four years later, with an 18-month-old son, after two husbands have been killed and one has left her, she wants to come back home.

She writes, "tell them please forgive me for being so ignorant and I was really young and ignorant and I was 19 when I decided to leave."

The plaintive pleas of a deceived woman who was a willing accomplice to Isis using Facebook to call for the bloodshed of innocent Americans. She claims that she was radicalized by the internet. One wonders why the editors of Facebook, which has censored Dennis Prager and others, has not been willing to censor enemies of freedom.

Now her life is ruined, as well as that of her son. She could have been saved by the message of Jesus Christ that begins, "Watch out, that no one deceives you..."

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien