My cell phone flashed a number originating from Dallas, Texas. Cold call telemarketer, I surmised. I intended to ignore it but considered the remote possibility it was a former dermatology client, now living in Texas, who reached out to me a few months earlier. I answered the call and received a jarring revelation.
“Hi! Is this Paul?”
“Who is calling?” Now, I was sure this was a cold call.
“This is Sue from Pet-Tek. We were alerted because someone found your dog in Venice beach.”
Her words were not registering with me. “Wait! Whose dog are we talking about?”
“Your dog’s name is Honey, right? She is a chihuahua mix, about five pounds.” She was describing my dog perfectly.
“Yes, yes…go on!”
“A woman named Nora found the microchip information on her and after tracing it using a web browser, she called us.”
“Nora?” I was absolutely dumbfounded. A woman named Nora was working in our home for the past month. Why would she be in Venice Beach, a city nearly 40 minutes away by car?
“Yes, can I put you through to her?”
“Wait!” I quickly looked at my computer screen. I have several digital cameras set up in the house to monitor any activity, and one of them was pointed at Honey’s kennel, where I presumed she still was. As I sifted through the different images, the lighting was poor and I could not discern whether Honey was there, but it appeared as though she was not. How could this happen? Why would Nora take Honey to Venice Beach and not inform me?
“Yes. Put her through.” A short pause followed as the call was transferred. A woman’s voice came on. “Hi, this is Nora. I have your dog!”
“Nora, this is Paul. Why are you in Venice Beach with Honey?”
“I just found her wandering in our yard. She had tags so I knew she must belong to someone. The microchip information led me to you through the agency.”
“Yes…but why are in Venice Beach? You’re supposed to be at our home?”
“I am home!” she exclaimed. “What do you mean ‘our home’?” Something was awry. “Honey is a chihuahua, right, small like five pounds?”
“What color is she?”
“She’s black with some white spots.”
Black? “No this can’t be right. Honey is brown.” It was beginning to make sense. “Does she have a name tag?”
“Yes, the tag has her microchip number on it.”
“Please read me the microchip number.” Within a few seconds, the confusion was resolved for both of us. The Pet-tek representative had copied down the wrong number and inadvertently had entered my dog’s chip number instead of the actual number that Nora gave her.
“Wow!” Nora said breathlessly. “Okay, I better call Pet-tek and find out who the real owner is!”
I was relieved but my mind was still swirling with the surreal possibility that my dog was being transported, even kidnapped to another city. It was a case of mistaken identity. The same dog type, a woman who shared the same name as our worker, a city a few minutes away from our home-with so many coincidences, all of these conflated to make a very compelling story. Yet, chinks soon appeared in the story and with further investigation, the truth was revealed.
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray…”
Matthew 24:3-5 (ESV)
Many people look for signs to predict when Jesus Christ will return to earth. Indeed, some charlatans have already claimed that they are the incarnate Jesus Christ, returning to earth, and imploring others to follow them. Like my dog and the many coincidences, with further investigation, all of these individuals are exposed as examples of a mistaken identity. When the facts are reviewed, it may seem incredulous that anyone could mistake these frauds as Jesus Christ. Yet circumstances of the moment may inveigle a willingness to believe and overlook any discrepancies or inconsistencies.
Jesus Christ accurately prophesied our current events, and warned us, nearly two thousand years ago. Do not be deceived! Jesus Christ will return to earth as He left, in the clouds. When that happens, there will be no mistaking that God has returned. The sheer pure radiance of our glorified Lord and Savior will compel every knee to bow and everything to tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
No mistaken identity! There is only one God, Jesus Christ!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.