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Disguising Themselves as Apostles

August 16, 2017

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Disguising Themselves as Apostles

The Apostle Paul  had a big problem.     He loved the Christian congregation  he had set up  in Corinth,  but he was far away  in Macedonia.     It was then  that he got wind  of false preachers  in Corinth,  who arrogantly made out  like they knew more about God  than Paul  and had more authority  as preachers of truth  than Paul.

Because these false preachers seemed  like they knew a lot,  some  of the Corinthians  were getting confused  because they could see  that this new preaching  was definitely different  from what Paul  had taught them  —  but the force  of the false preachers  made them sound like  they should be real religious leaders.     In other words,  they were bossy.     Their bossiness  made it seem  like they knew  what they were talking about.

Paul wrote 2 Corinthians  to protect those  who were getting confused.     Paul is setting the Corinthians straight  so that they won’t lose  their salvation  in Christ.     He presented  some doctrinal truths,  and then explained why  he was so upset  over them.     In 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, Paul says,

For I am jealous for you  with a godly jealousy;  for I betrothed you  to one husband,  that to Christ  I might present you  as a pure virgin.

But I am afraid,  lest as the serpent deceived Eve  by his craftiness,  your minds  should be led astray  from the simplicity  and purity  of devotion  to Christ.

For  if one comes  and preaches another Jesus  whom we have not preached,  or you receive  a different spirit  which you have not received,  or a different gospel  which you have not accepted,  you bear this beautifully.

Those false preachers  had been twisting God’s eternal word  into something  that was blasphemous.     It was scary,  because their so-called “gospel”  did not preach the truth  about Jesus.     Their “gospel”  did not have  the Spirit of God in it  —  telling the story  of God’s love  and plan  of a real salvation  from all our sins.     Their “gospel”  was not the good news  of forgiveness  through faith  in Jesus Christ alone.

Because these false preachers  had an agenda  to become big religious leaders  in Corinth,  Paul spoke  about how his own preaching  was done  in a God-pleasing manner,  because Christ  was the center  of his life.     Paul had even refused  to accept wages  from the Corinthians  so that money  would not factor in  to his purpose  for preaching. Therefore,  in verses 12-15,  he says,

But  what I am doing,  I will continue to do,  that I may cut off opportunity  from those  who desire an opportunity  to be regarded  just as we are  in the matter about which  they are boasting.

For such men  are false apostles,  deceitful workers,  disguising themselves  as apostles of Christ.     And no wonder,  for even Satan  disguises himself  as an angel  of light.

Therefore it is not surprising  if his servants also  disguise themselves  as servants  of righteousness;  whose end  shall be according to  their deeds.

Paul refused  to back down  from the arrogant claims  of those false preachers.     He understood  how they were using  religious sounding words  to purposely mislead the Corinthians  for the sake  of becoming rich.

That same sort  of false preaching  is all around us today.     Anybody who claims  that Christ is not  the one and only God Almighty  and our one and only Savior  —  is a false preacher.     Anybody who claims  that all religions  should be accepted  as viable ways  of getting to heaven  doesn’t have a clue  about the proven truths  of God.

Our LORD  has already proven  throughout history  that He is the one and only  true God.     History recorded God’s prophecies  over the years  and the fulfillment  of all those prophecies.     No other “god”  or religion  has been able  to do anything like that  because they don’t have  the power.     They don’t have the power  because they are all  false religions  and should be seen  as such.     We are not to “pussy-foot”  around their claims  or let them mislead us  in an effort  to be politically correct.

No one should be willing  to diminish the truth  and replace it  with myths  for the sake  of their own ego.     But,  nevertheless,  many are willing  to do just that,  as they act  in a very authoritative manner.

Paul was so upset  with the Corinthians,  he had to make them see  the awfulness  of what was happening  to them.     In verses 19-21  he writes,

For you,  being so wise,  bear with the foolish gladly.     For you bear with anyone  if he enslaves you,  if he devours you,  if he takes advantage  of you,  if he exalts himself,  if he hits you  in the face.

To my shame  I must say  that we have been weak  by comparison.     But in whatever respect  anyone else is bold  (I speak  in foolishness),  I am  just as bold myself.

It is a sincere  and godly love  that causes Paul  to lay out the facts  this way.     If he doesn’t wake them up  right away,  they might lose  their eternal salvation.     Paul does not think  he could bear that.

As we see those we love  caving in  to false preaching,  are we willing  to speak up  like Paul?     Their eternity  is at stake.     How will love  and truth  lead us?

Each and every one of us needs  to be on constant guard  for false preaching.     The only way  we can really stay  on guard  is to stay close  to our LORD  and Savior.     We do that  through prayer,  Bible study,  praise  and thanksgiving  for all that God has done  for us  since the beginning  of time.

Then  as God strengthens us  for another day  in this world,  we will gladly say,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD  is almighty  and faithful  forevermore.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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