The most commonly mentioned characteristic of the end times is deception. There is a war against truth being waged around the world which is finding its way into the church. This is also the first thing that Jesus mentioned when asked about the sign of His coming.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:4-5 KJV
This is a reference to people who declare that Jesus is the Christ yet they are false teachers. They come in His name, probably in order to gain acceptance, but they teach lies and deceive those who believe them. The prevalence of lies and deception corresponds to the opening of the first seal.
Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2 NASB
The conquering that takes place when the first seal is opened is covert in nature since peace is not removed from the earth until the second seal is opened. It is a reference to the spreading of lies and the resulting deception that sets out to conquer truth. The white horse rider was given a bow to shoot the arrows of the evil one.
In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16 NASB.
Lies and deception are nothing new but their prevalence in the end times is extraordinary. The spreading of lies is the means by which the kingdom of darkness is conditioning the people of the world to ultimately embrace the false prophet as their savior. At some point, the deception begins to incorporate supernatural signs and wonders.
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:23-24 NASB
Since the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, we know that we are in the time of the end and that the first seal has been opened. This is where we are in the chronology of the end times. Based on the early hint of globalism that followed WW1 in the League of Nations and other observations, I’d estimate that the first seal was opened sometime late in the 19th century. The globalist agenda that began back then is continuing to be pushed today by the forces of wickedness in order to prepare the world for the revealing of the man of sin, the false prophet. 2 Thessalonians 2 describes his revealing as being in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness.