What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends?

What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends? Fake friends are out just to use you for what they can get out of you. They are liars or hypocrites in their ways. They pretend to be your friends but in their hearts, they are not. Wisdom calls on you to stop letting them use you. As a matter of fact, you should avoid putting your trust in them for they’ll only hurt your feelings and rejoice about their actions in your absence. However, you should be courteous and even “agape” love them. Agape is the Greek word for God’s love for sinners. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved (agape) the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Likewise, Jesus Christ commanded us to love (agape) our enemies.

Agape is not a feeling. In simple terms, it is a decision to do good to all – even to those who use you. In the same light, Matthew 5:44-45 reads, “But I say to you, love (agape) your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” With agape, we do not hurt back when others hurt us. Rather, we are kind and even helpful as called for in Matthew 5:38-45. On the other hand, “Phileo” love is the kind of love that we have towards our fellow Christians. Romans 12:10 says, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love (phileo)…” 

What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends?

Jesus Christ commands us to love and treat our fake friends well. By so doing, we distinguish ourselves as children of the Most High. However, in being good to them, we should avoid putting in our trust and getting too emotionally close as they’ll only end up hurting our feelings. However, for a genuine friendship, Romans 12:10 points to Phileo love, which is a tender, heartfelt love of companionship. This is the brotherly love that siblings in a family have for each other. Human beings were created to be social creatures. This is to say that we are most comfortable when we have family, friends, and acquaintances. Genuine friendship is one of the most important elements in a contented and fulfilled life. Generally, those who have close and reliable friends tend to be happy and well-adjusted.

However, those who call themselves our friends may cause us grief, hardship, and even lead us into sin. While tolerance, love, and forgiveness are important in every friendship relationship, it is also important to know when such relationships reach the boundary. On the positive side, friends can bring comfort and help us when we are in trouble, as when Barzillai the Gileadite consoled David when he was being hunted by Absalom (2 Samuel 17:27–29) or when Jephthah’s daughter’s friends consoled her before her death (Judges 11:37-38). A friend may also rebuke in love, thereby proving more faithful than a hypocritical flatterer (Proverbs 27:6). One of the greatest Biblical examples of friendship is that which existed between David and Johnathan, son of King Saul. The Bible tells us that Johnathan’s loyalty to his friend, David, exceeded that to his own father and his own ambitions (1 Samuel 18:1-4; 20:14-17).

What The Scriptures Say About Fake Friends

While the Bible does not encourage us to abandon our friends, it is important to keep watch so that friends won’t lead us astray from the Will of God. That is, friendship can have its negative aspects as well. It is without a doubt that friends can lead us into sin, as when Jonadab persuades Amnon to rape his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-6). Behold, a friend can lead us astray in regard to our faith, as it was the case in Israel, leading others to worship false gods (Deuteronomy 13:6-11). Note that in those days, such an act in Israel was punishable by death. Also, even if our friends do not lead us astray, they can provide false comfort and bad advice, as Job’s friends did, making his suffering worse and displeasing the Lord God Almighty (Job 2:11-13, 6:14-27, 42:7-9).

In the same light, friends can as well prove false, pretending affection for their own egoistic motives, and deserting us when our friendship no longer benefits them in any way (Psalm 55:12-14; Proverbs 19:4, 6-7). However, friendship can be broken down through gossip (Proverbs 16:28) or grudges (Proverbs 17:9). While showing love for everyone, we should choose our friends carefully, as Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Proverbs 1:10-19 and 4:14-19 warns about friends and tells us how we should choose them. As Christians, we are not to associate with those who have refused to turn away from their evil ways and who entice us to join them in doing wrong, no matter how appealing their “friendship” seems to be. Those whose “feet rush to sin” should be avoided. A Christian’s choice should be to follow the “path of the righteous.”

More on what the Scriptures say

The Scriptures give us the importance and qualities of a true friend. Genuine friendship is God’s gift for us. There is much joy that comes with keeping company with friends. Without friends, life becomes a lonely, boring, and bitter road to walk all alone. However, not all friends are worth our time and trust. While others are worth dying to keep, others are there to lead us into regret, sorrow, bitterness, and tears. Such people are more likely to bring our downfall and ruin our relationship with God. This creates the need for everyone to learn the qualities of a genuine or true friend. Without these qualities at hand, we are more likely to roam around with the wrong people in the name of friends. It is at this point that God intervenes out of his love for us.

Truth be told, God is concerned about the people keeping us company. That’s why He revealed the Best Bible Verses On Friends that are full of wisdom and knowledge on who is worth taking as a companion and offering your trust. Without these, the process of surrounding ourselves with true friends will be a nightmare. The whole aspect of genuine friendship might feel daunting or unnecessary for those who consider themselves friendly to all. Whatever the case, you must be honest to yourself and have a clear look into your friendship relationships. After looking, you must decide whether to maintain them or let them go. Deciding early on who is a true friend and who is not a true friend will save you from many sorrows. For deciding, you must first know for sure which friendship is worth keeping and which you should turn your back on.

Biblical qualities of a good friend to consider in choosing your companions

1. True friends love at all times – Proverbs 17:17

Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Love is a powerful language of the heart that encourages, excites, and gives meaning and fun to friendship relationships. These priceless treasures are the desires of many but a reality to few. Loving friendships are rare these days as many are out for their personal interests and profits. Such ego creates room for friendship without love. And behold, friendship without love is not different from tunnels without light at the end and ships without sails. Genuine love is what holds and binds true friendship together, even during uncertain and hard times. It is so powerful that it overcomes the challenges of life and maintains its participants together. Unfortunately, not all friends are loving – some friends only stick around when things are going well. Immediately things turn the other way round, such friends disappear.

As pointed out by the best Bible verses about friendship, friends that are out for their personal interest will say the right words at the right time and they will exhibit the qualities of a loving friend as long as things keep moving well, and immediately you encounter hard times and can no longer meet their expectations and demands, their love becomes a thing of the past. Always keep in mind that a good friend will love you in all circumstances and at all times. Genuine friends are not out for opportunities to excuse themselves from expressing their love to you. They are rather more into looking for opportunities to further express their love to you. Genuine love will always pass the test of time and trials. Loyal and loving friends will succeed in your test and won’t remain angry for long but find ways to improve on the relationship.

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2. Good friends respect you and your qualities – Philippians 2:3

Philippians 2:3 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” A good friend is one who respects your personality and values your qualities. Such a friend won’t disregard your feelings and treat them as if they did not matter. It is advisable not to lower your standards for the accommodation of friends that do not respect you. Such friends are more likely to lead you astray and kill the ethical values within you. If a friend is not willing to respect you, then it is as good as saying goodbye to the friendship. Respect is one of the best qualities of a good friend.

3. Good friends exercise wisdom – Proverbs 13:20

Proverbs 13:20 – “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” From the Bible verses on Friendship, we are advised to walk with the wise so that we can in-turn become wise or grow in wisdom. Embracing the companion of fools will soon lead you into sorrow and long lasting regrets. It is with this in mind that we say that good friendship exercises wisdom. Although this Biblical verse is not a call for you to indiscriminately disassociate yourself from friends you perceive to lack knowledge, it is a call for you to take precautions not to follow them into their unwise plans. However, you can help by cultivating some sound value into their lives. If they are willing to learn and move ahead, then we’ll say the relationship is excising wisdom. It is worth continuing if they are willing to learn from their mistakes.

4. Creditable friends inspire strong values in you – 1 Corinthians 15:33

1 Corinthians 15:33 – “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” It is without doubt that commendable friends inspire and promote the growth of strong values within you. There is major and wise proverb that says “You and known by the friends that you keep“. This verse from Apostle Paul comes in to reinforce the same wisdom. Good friendship inspires and brings out the best from you while bad friendship corrupts the good morals within you. Go for virtues friends who will instill sound values in you. Going the other way round will definitely lead to your downfall in one way or the other.

5. True Friends are supportive and reliable – Proverbs 18:24

Proverbs 18:24 – “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” Brethren, let no one deceive you that true friendship does not come with reliability and support. It is one of the most important qualities of a good friend. Bible verses about friendship point to the fact that good friendships create bonds that go deeper than brotherly blood relationships. Loyal friends will always be by your side to support and encourage you in hard times. In their supportive nature, they’ll gracefully correct you when you are wrong. They’ll also popup to congratulate you for your achievements.

6. Good friends make sacrifices for you – John 15:13

John 15:13 – “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” A true or genuine friend is one who knows the importance of sacrifices in strengthening a relationship to last. The Bible verses on friendship point Jesus Christ as the greatest example of a friend. Sacrifice is a fundamental quality for a genuine friendship relationship that will last long. Friendships without sacrifices are those that come without commitment. It is without doubt that such relationships won’t last long. In 1 Samuel 18:4, we read about the genuine friendship that existed between David and Jonathan, the King’s son. The king hated David and had made plans to kill him, but his son, Jonathan, out of the love and respect he had for his friendship with David did not hesitate to endanger his life by informing David. Christ did even more for us.

7. Honorable friends preserve secrets and stay away from gossips – Proverbs 16:28

Proverbs 16:28 – “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” An honorable friend is one who knows how to keep secrets. Such a person won’t engage into gossips to disclose what he/she knows about you. A friend who gossips is like a thorn in the flesh of those keeping him/her as their companion. In such cases, the friendship relationship becomes a horrible nightmare. Among the qualities of a good friend, the ability to keep secrets is one that can’t be omitted. This is highly supported by the Bible verses on friendship. Note that praiseworthy friends do not gossip. Such friend are out to speak facts and only facts. If they are not sure about something, they maintain their silence. In addition, they also remain silent about the things which you do not want the public to know.

8. Faithful friends put up with our shortcomings and support us – Galatians 6:2

Galatians 6:2 – “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Most friendship relationships have their own share of troubles. That is, they also face their own ups and downs. That’s why you should not take trouble in a relationship as an excuse to say goodbye. You have to learn and practice tolerance as well as forgiveness. The notions of tolerance and forgiveness can’t be omitted from our list of qualities of a good friend. At times troubles come not to destroy the relationship but to strengthen it in one way or the other. In most cases, it has been noticed that after a period of ups and downs in a relationship, the individuals become more committed and reassured of their sincerity.

Ways To Recognize False Friends

Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Knowing how to figure a fake friend from a genuine friend is very important. It is no strange information that we’ve all had friends who at one time hurt us, abandoned us, or even betrayed us. Though it is normal to have some little disagreements with friends once in a while, what is abnormal is that we allow someone in the name of a friend to destroy our life and bring down everything that we’ve struggled to build over the years. Behold, some of our relationships need to meet an end for us to see the light of success in Christ. Likewise, we should be very careful to assess who we allow o be our friends so as to be free from what might just hinder our pursuit of Christ.

Below are some ways to help you identify fake friends:

1) Fake friends abandon you in times of need – Proverbs 17:17

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Therefore, if you have friends who are always there for fun but not there for adversity, it’s a clear sign that they are fake friends. Behold, a real/genuine friend loves you at all times and not only when they are benefiting something from you. The Bible invites us not to withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in our ability to do it. During moments of trial and hardship, we need kindness and comfort. Kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit and any friend with this fruit will show you kindness in a time of need. But fake friends don’t have your interest at heart and won’t offer any genuine kindness.

2) Fake friends bear rotten fruits – Matthew 7:15-17

Matthew 7:15-17 says, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit. But a corrupt tree bears evil fruit.” Although this verse mentions false prophets, you can as well identify a false friend with a fruit inspection. False friends tend to make a lot of promises but hardly honor any. Psalms 55:21 makes us understand that fake friends are always likely to tell you what you want to hear so as to get you in your good mood and obtain what they want from you but when you are in need, they are nowhere to be found.

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3) Fake friends take more than they give – Proverbs 19:4

Proverbs 19:4 says, “Wealth makes many friends, but the poor is separated from his neighbor.” If you have a friend who comes beside you just to ask for favors and benefits, it’s clear that he/she is a fake friend. Have in mind that there are some people that befriend you just because of what they benefit from you, not because they are true.

4) Fake friends betray your trust and stab you in the back – Psalms 41:9

Psalms 41:9 says, “Yes, my own close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted up the heel against me.” We are told in the Bible that faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6), but this saying is in the context of a friend correcting an error in your life that you can’t see. Note that such a friend is very different from the one who speaks cruel words behind your back or betrays your confidence.

5) Fake friends are always gossiping – Proverbs 20:19

Proverbs 20:19 says, “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not meddle with him who flatters with his lips.” If you have a friend who enjoys gossiping, chances are very high that he/she has already gossiped about you behind your back. What makes you think if they can reveal other people’s secrets to you, they won’t reveal yours to others? Behold, it’s that simple.

6) Fake friends draw you away from God – Matthew 10:37

Matthew 10:37 says, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” A friend who draws you farther away from God is a fake friend. In fact, if you have a friend who pulls you away from God, let that friend go. Do this regardless of who they are or what they do, so long as they are not willing to change from their evil ways. Stand firm in the faith and cut every relationship that separates you from God’s Ways.

7) Fake friends won’t respect your godly boundaries – 1 Corinthians 15:33

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.” It is without a doubt that fake friends don’t have any respect for your boundaries or moral limits. They don’t care whether you’ve set the goal of studying God’s Word every evening or waking up early in the morning to pray. All that matters to them is their interests even if it means you not meeting your daily goals.

8) Fake friends bring strife and division into your life – Proverbs 16:26-28

Proverbs 16:26-28 says, “An ungodly man digs up evil, and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.” This is a clear warning from the Bible against friends who are always bringing drama aimed at confusing you and separating you from those who haven’t done anything to deserve being abandoned by you. Do your best to avoid those who want to separate you from good friends. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because there is a good reward for their labor together. For if they fall, then one will help up his companion.

What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends?

1 Corinthians 15:33Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Matthew 5:30 – “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

Proverbs 27:5-6 – “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Psalm 23:1-6 – “A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ...”

Group 1 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

Romans 12:15 – “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Proverbs 18:24 – “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Proverbs 16:28 – “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”

Proverbs 20:19 – “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Group 2 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

Proverbs 12:26 – “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Proverbs 27:9 – “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

2 Timothy 3:13 – “While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Proverbs 22:24-25 – “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”

1 Corinthians 15:33-34 – “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”

Group 3 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

Proverbs 3:32 – “For the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

1 John 4:1-21 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...”

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Group 4 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

Proverbs 13:20 – “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Matthew 5:29-30 – “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Revelation 1:1-20 – “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. …”

Group 5 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

1 John 4:7 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”

John 15:13-15 – “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

1 John 4:6 – “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

Revelation 21:8 – “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

Proverbs 20:6 – “Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?

Group 6 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

John 15:12 – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

1 John 4:8 – “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

2 Kings 2:2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Group 7 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

John 15:12-15 – “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Romans 12:3 – “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Group 8 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

James 4:4 – “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Group 9 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

1 John 3:7-8 – “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”

Group 10 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

John 15:15 – “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Romans 5:10 – “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

Group 11 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

Philippians 2:12 – “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,”

Job 2:11 – “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.”

Group 12 – What Does The Bible Say About Fake Friends

John 13:35 – “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 – “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!

John 13:3 – “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,”

Matthew 24:5 – “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.”

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