DECEPTION IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUPERNATURAL REALM. This special form of deception is pointedly said to be in connection with spiritual rather than worldly things. This surely shows that the people of God, at the time of the end, will be expecting the coming of the Lord, and we can infer that they will be keenly awake to all movements from the supernatural world, in such a measure that deceiving spirits will be able to take advantage of it and anticipate the Lord’s appearing by “false Christs” and false signs and wonders. They will mix their counterfeits with the true manifestations of the Spirit of God. The Lord says that men will be deceived (1) concerning Christ and His porousia (appearing); (2) concerning prophecy—teachings regarding the future, from the spiritual world through inspired messengers; and (3) concerning the giving of proofs that the “teachings” are truly of God, by “signs” and “wonders” so Godlike as to be indistinguishable from the true even by those described as “the elect”— who will need to possess some other test than the judging by appearances of a “sign” being from God if they are to be able to discern the false from the true. The Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy, containing the special prophecy given to him by the Holy Spirit for the Church of Christ in the last days of the dispensation, exactly coincide with the words of the Lord recorded by Matthew. These two letters of Paul to Timothy are the last epistles that he wrote before his departure to be with Christ. Both were written in prison, and Paul’s prison was to him what Patmos was to John—a time when he was “in the Spirit” (Rev. 1:10) and shown things to come. Paul was giving his last directions to Timothy for the ordering of the Church of God right on to the end of her time on earth—giving rules to guide not only Timothy but all God’s servants “in dealing with God’s household.” In the midst of all these detailed instructions, his keen seer’s vision looks on to the “later times”; and by express command of the Spirit of God he depicts in a few brief sentences the peril of the Church in those times, in the same way that the Spirit of God gave the prophets of the Old Testament some pregnant prophecy only to be fully understood after the events had come to pass. The apostle said: “The Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, seared in their own conscience as with a hot iron …” (1 Tim. 4:1-2, mg.).