We are at a time when deceptions must thrive. There is copious Bible evidence to establish that none can have pre-knowledge of the date and time of the second coming of Jesus Christ as Harold Camping predicts. Surely enough has been said on this. The Bible does however predict that there will be times when many will claim this knowledge. There are also cases in the Bible where it was God himself sending “deceiving” spirits for specific purpose. The purpose of every deception can help the faithful in their observations of the times. This article highlights at least 5 possible reasons why God must send deceptions such as this.
First for illustration observe the example below of how and why Ahab was deceived.
I Kings 22 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.  And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.  And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him , and prevail also: go forth, and do so.  Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
There are many reasons why a lying spirit would be sent to a prophet ... and why many well intended prophets have indeed had genuine visitations that have drawn them and many others into deep deceptions. In the above case God needed to persuade Ahab to advance to his arena of judgment.
There are other deceptions described in the Bible. Jeremiah a renowned prophet with an excellent track record was once used by God to deceive. Fear God and obey His word... think little of ALL men...dust... mere men the best of us will ever be.
In Jeremiah 35 And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.  But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye , nor your sons for ever: ....  And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:  Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me forever.
Jeremiah is led to deceive the Rechabites to drink wine...they refuse to be lured by the Prophet and God honours the house of Rechab forever.
Matthew 24 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before.  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
There are at least 5 Biblical reasons why many deceivers (not just on the end times) MUST thrive at this time.
1. To confirm and further separate the sheep from the goats . Like the Rechabites those that will be honoured must be proven and tested.
2.To encourage the faithful to be more watchful especially in fighting private sins by deepening their word study and seeking help from the Holy Ghost ...knowing the times are close. Prayerful watchfulness and not earthly success is the attribute that eventually marks out divine overcomers.
3.To further deride and discredit deeper scriptural truths like “rapture” and revelations from the word of God for those attracted only to the Bible’s therapeutic or logical appeal and have not been convicted or helped to be faithful by the Holy Spirit. Many fall away that never really had the truth. Many do not trust the completeness and infallibility of the word ...They need strong deceptions to seal their fate.
4.So that the love of many will wax cold as has been predicted ... as many are disappointed.
5.The worst of deceptions are those that will never be known until the day the Lord says “ I never knew you”...for it is too late. Those who go to Church and depend mainly on charismatic leaders etc and do not have personal revelation of the word of God and Christ must be deceived ultimately.
Though we are not to be surprised at attention given to falsehoods, we can still be perturbed at more recent fast spreading viruses. For example perhaps the most popular and harmful deception today is that there will be no eternal punishment. Do you not see that like was done for Ahab - this is the fastest way to seal the fate of those on a wicked path of perdition.
Jesus clearly said in Matthew 25And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Repent, watch and Pray... God has chosen you for eternal life.
Olabode Ososami pastors at The Redeemed Christian Church of God - Nigeria & has published 3 books. "The Majesty of God" - his latest book was released last December.