“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” – Matthew 24:10
Christ warned that in the last days a period would arrive when people will betray and hate one another because they will be “offended.” The Greek word for offended is skandalizō, which means, “to entrap, i.e. trip up, stumble or entice to sin, apostatize or offend.” (Strong’s) “Offended” indicates that people will become scandalized.
The skandalizō is the verb of scandalon, which is what we get the English word scandal from.[i] Biblical usages of skandalizō include; “To put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall. To entice to sin, to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey. To cause to fall away, to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority. To cause one to judge unfavorably or unjustly of another.”
Consider that Israel became apostate and the heavens marveled at their scandal.
“Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be very desolate,” says the Lord. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:12-13
It was a great scandal for Israel to forsake the Fountain of Living Waters. They metaphorically hewed broken cisterns that could not hold water. In actuality, they became idolatrous and engaged in pagan practices of the nations around them. If the following passage were in the Greek text, it would be the definition of skandalizō.
“And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in pathways and not on a highway.” (Jeremiah 18:15)
Likewise, these “offended” ones that Christ referred to in Matthew 24:10, are scandalous. They may not recognize that they are scandalous because the world has become very wicked. As it did, the spiritual condition of professing Christians deteriorated in proportion. Subsequently, popular leaders in Christianity are implying that God has changed His mind. What His word defines as sin is being sanctioned as proper behavior. However, whatever God regards as scandalous will always be scandalous. He does not change His nature and accept it merely because more people become scandalous. The majority of professing Christians today disagree. They believe that what God once disallowed He will allow if it becomes accepted by the present culture. That belief is the danger of becoming accustomed to living distant from God’s presence, deaf and insensitive to the Holy Spirit. The bodies of Israelites were scattered all over the desert that they wandered in because of their rebellion. They became scandalous.
The truth is that millions have rejected the yoke of God and apostatized. They repeatedly rejected the Holy Spirit’s unction to surrender their flesh to the nails of their cross. In fact, they no longer carry their cross. They long ago laid it down to follow deceivers and for a false peace with and love of the world system. By compromise, the substance in their form of godliness “leaked” by degrees until it was practically all gone. That is a scandal.
Those individuals had His goodness, mercy, grace, and everything else they needed, but they apostatized. They could have overcome sin, and yet they were overcome by sin. God has sent His word, His Holy Spirit, and His gifts, and all that entails. They treated the gifts and blessings of God as entitlements they earn by lip service. Instead of gratefully retaining all the mighty benefits and gifts of God, they turned from the light to wander in the regions of darkness. Satan corrupted and scandalized them.
Consequently, Christianity is now plagued with numerous diabolical individuals that the majority does not view as scandalous. They exalt themselves and propagate heretical doctrines, but there is little astonishment and less outrage. They blatantly lead people astray, cause them to stumble, entice them to sin, to turn off of the true path and onto the road to deception and the apostasy. Instead of been viewed as evil workers of darkness, they are exalted and honored as great vessels of God. It is a scandal!
Deceivers openly work in Christianity today cajoling people to engage in pagan practices. Great numbers of people have swallowed the lies of New Age spirituality and other paganism. Christ taught us how to pray and gave us a model prayer. Rejecting that pattern and the historical examples of godly praying, numerous professing Christians are Contemplatively Praying as pagans. They have forsaken God’s way to follow the way of demonic people. It is a scandal!
False teachers spin tall tales and fantasies and teach flagrant anti-biblical doctrine. Prophetesses and prophets speak “lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). They twist and mangle God’s word to draw and lead people into proximity with demons. Satan’s false “ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15) attempt to work miracles as one would work witchcraft. Millions of professing Christians eagerly follow these charlatans without any hint of alarm. Their actions and words are so ridiculous, and yet so totally acceptable, that scam/con artists and tricksters are crawling out of the gutters to get in the game. They recognize the wide-open opportunities for wealth and fame in America Christianity. The heavens are astonished by this scandal!
The charlatan book and movie industry far outsell literature and movies presenting, promoting, and defending the truth. A woman channeling a demon spirit wrote a heretical book, “Jesus Calling,” claiming that Christ had spoken directly to her. Instead of being rejected as the hodgepodge that it is, the book sold over 25 million copies and is inserted into a study bible. A man writes a book, “The Shack,” chock-full of dangerous heresies and anti-Christianity. It sold over 20 million copies and becomes a successful movie. Professing Christians eagerly imbibe the deception with no hint of discernment or conviction. It’s a scandal!
The Roman Catholic Church is guilty of brutal persecution of Christians. With their Crusades, they greatly tarnished the essence of the Gospel and nature of Christ. Their belief system and rituals are rife with heresy and paganism. The leadership engages in homosexuality and pedophilia. The present Pope protects and defends them while impugning the character of their victims. However, Evangelicals and other Protestants continue to pave the way for ecumenism with the RCC. It is an astonishing scandal!
God created male and female with the ability to procreate and gave them to each other. Today subjects of the world system have rejected God’s paradigm and are co-habiting in same-sex relationships. Furthermore, they are establishing and assigning their own genders that preclude procreating. They even mutilate children to change their genders. While the people of darkness are expected to commit horrific evil in the last days, innumerable professing Christians and their leadership are accepting and even honoring the wickedness. It is a scandal!
They were convinced by demons to forsake the Holy Spirit for demonic imposters, and to forsake Christ for another christ. They stumbled, tripped, fell, or otherwise were ensnared by Satan. Consequently, they glory in their sins. They become indignant if their evil deeds are exposed as sins. They no longer have a reverential fear of God, but treat Him cavalierly and disrespectfully. They have no compelling desire to surrender fully to God and cannot tolerate the ones who do. Their intolerance for truth is now set on a hair trigger. They are scandalous!
Presently, many professing Christians are so spiritually weak, divested of truth, majoring on minors, contentiously wrangling over non-essentials, and so “thin-skinned” and “touchy,” that most of Christians are very divisive. Consequently, Christianity is for the most part very divided. Some are blindly following heretics and charlatans. In fact, the only unity appears to be the masses under the influence of heretics. Other ones are completely distracted by the “cares of life” and the offerings of the world system. A great number of them have separated into small groups that have no leadership. It is a vast populace of multiple millions of individuals that are so non-cohesive on essential truth that no organized resistance remains to even slow the onrushing and united minions of Satan. They cannot even mount a significant outrage over abortion and the Roman Catholic rape and plunder of an incalculable number of children and young people. It’s a great scandal!
I believe we are witnessing the beginning of unbridled betrayal and hatred. The anxiety of the spiritual condition of apostates remains at ready to erupt into hatred. Their satanically influenced instinct is to spread darkness against the truth. Hatred is their instant reaction when the Believers expose them to the light of truth. They are so spiritually compromised that they can be manipulated by Satan to betray God’s Remnant. It does not matter if it is a brother or sister, mother or father, a long time friend, a godly person, or whoever; they are willing to betray them.
These compromised professing Christians have been repeatedly warned, but instead of heeding the warnings and repenting, they are racing to engage in more deception and darkness. They have received and reciprocated satanic deception, deceiving and being deceived, so long that they may now be too delusional to recognize their need to repent. They can only become worse!
“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” – 2 Timothy 3:12
Therefore, they completely refuse anointed teaching and preaching conviction, or godly authority. They reject the truth speakers and reject the watchmen. They despise anyone whose soul is ablaze with passion and love for God, and in whom the Holy Spirit dwells fully. They are scandalous!
In my opinion, this is the Time of Offense that Christ Jesus warned about. We are witnessing mass betrayal and hatred in the secular society that is awash with scandalous people and their scandals. There was a time when secular society would be astonished at a scandal or scandalous people. However, some of the vilest behaviors are not perceived as scandalous. It is because people are desensitized and the standard has fallen very low in this time of great wickedness. There are scandalous people in our nation’s government that say and do scandalous things. Numerous people pepper with scandals the entertainment industry, sports, journalism, and virtually every sector of life. They wear their scandalous status as badges of honor. The majority of people in the world system and Christianity have grown so accustomed to it that they are no longer vexed by it.
Satan has scandalized so many secular people and professing Christians that it has produced an oppressive and toxic spiritual atmosphere for God’s Remnant. It is coming down to the point that individuals who are fully committed and surrendered to God will be isolated. We are repeatedly being warned by God’s servants and the Holy Spirit to prepare ourselves spiritually. A dangerous mistake is to believe that we are strong enough when we do not know the cleverness and variety of the satanic schemes that are coming against us. The repeated admonition in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 is to endure and overcome. Are we ready to endure a very difficult period of scandalous and hateful betrayers?
[i]Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/scandal