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Mark 13:6

ESV Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.
NIV Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
NASB Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and they will mislead many.
CSB Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will deceive many.
NLT for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.
KJV For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
NKJV For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.

What does Mark 13:6 mean?

Days before the crucifixion, the disciples still don't understand that Jesus will die and be raised. Nor do they know that forty days later He will ascend into heaven (Acts 1:9–11), not to return until after the tribulation. In this special teaching to Peter, James, John, and Andrew, Jesus teaches them about what to expect in the future. That includes their own immediate future and the end times of the world. Jesus' most pressing concern is that they—and we—understand the truth as it is written in the Bible and not be led astray by false teachers.

Whether literally or in essence, people have claimed to be Jesus since shortly after the ascension. Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, said she was Christ-incarnate in the female form. Baha'u'llah claimed to fulfill not only Christianity but also two other religions. The followers of Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church believed he was Jesus. Jim Jones claimed to be Jesus, Buddha, and Lenin reincarnated. Others include Marshall Applewhite, Charles Manson, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, and David Koresh.

Not all those false teachers can be written off as bizarre loonies; many had great influence over numbers of people. It's unclear how many have joined the Unification Church, but records vary from 250,000 and 3 million. The World Mission Society claims it has had 1.7 million members. Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda said that he had 2 million. This leads to a sad truth: millions of people understand Jesus is coming back—but don't realize how conmen will lead them to hell in Jesus' name.

Beyond drawing their followers away from Christ, many false Christs lead their followers to physical death. Marshall Applewhite convinced 39 members of his Heaven's Gate cult to kill themselves. Almost 80 Branch Davidians died in David Koresh's fight with federal agents. And Jim Jones had 920 of his followers drink poison.

The Bible thoroughly denounces false teachers (Matthew 12:33–37; 16:15–16; Galatians 1:7–9; 1 John 2:22; 2 John 1:9; Jude 1:11). Although it can be difficult to identify a false teacher (2 Corinthians 11:14–15), at first, God promises to give us wisdom if we ask (James 1:5). Although the generation of believers that lives in the end times will not be deceived, they will need to pay close attention to Scripture (Mark 13:22).
What is the Gospel?
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