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Verses 4,5. Take heed, etc. He first gives them a caution to beware of deception. They were to be constantly on their guard, as many would arise to deceive the people.

Many shall come in my name. Not in the name or by the authority of Jesus, but in the name of the Messiah, or claiming to be the Messiah.

I am Christ. I am the Messiah. Mt 1:1

The Messiah was expected at that time, Mt 2:1,2. Many would lay claims to being the Messiah, and, as he was universally expected, many would easily be led to believe in them. There is abundant evidence that this was fully accomplished. Josephus informs us that there were many, who pretended to Divine inspiration, deceived the people, leading out numbers of them into the desert. "The land," says he, "was overrun with magicians, seducers, and impostors, who drew the people after them in multitudes into solitudes and deserts, to see the signs and miracles which they promised to show by the power of God."

Among these are mentioned particularly Dositheus, the Samaritan, who affirmed that he was Christ; Simon Magus, who said he appeared among the Jews as the Son of God; and Theudas, who persuaded many to go with him to the river Jordan, to see the waters divided. The names of twenty-four false Messiahs are recorded as having appeared between the time of the emperor Adrian and the year 1682.

{d} "take heed" Col 2:8; 2 Th 2:3

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