False Apostles and Suffering

2 Corinthians 11:1-15

Christians are gullible and can be deprived of their money, health and their very souls. They genuinely want help and healing some want money and health. The get sucked into to many scams, phoney health promises, fake charities, and schemes of all kinds.  However the imaginary health and wealth eludes them and they continue to live in hope or ask why they do not have enough faith to receive the miracles. They are made to believe they need to be initiated into the super faith bracket, the special category of Christian.  They are seduced into false concepts of Christianity. The source of this religious and spiritual deception is from Satan himself. He is more cunning than a fox, more subtle than a snake or more clever than any man, he is the great deceiver of souls. His schemes are the most seductive one could imagine.  He uses false teachers with their spiritual lies destruction. We are dealing with the arch enemy of the soul. He has great knowledge and experience beyond our years. Victims are easily drawn into his schemes by his subtle devices. He is a liar from the beginning and is the Father of Lies. Billions have been deluded by him. He is the most subtle deceiver in the universe.  We are not to be ignorant of his devices and deception.

The Church at Corinth was immature and lacked doctrine. They became enamoured with the gifts if the Spirit and pride, they were open to deception and seduction, and lacked discernment. Paul was concerned that Satan would deceive them and lead them into error.  They were beginning to believe the lies he promoted through the false apostles. The same thing happens in churches today.   False teachers continue to bring their seductive error.

Vs 2-6 Paul was very jealous for the Saviours bride, the church. He did not want her to be  seduced. As a spiritual father of the bride he wanted to present her as a virgin to the Bridegroom. He would do anything to protect the churches purity.

Vs 3-4 Pauls fears.   He was afraid of the danger of them being led astray and seduced. The great deceiver was at work just as he had been with Eve. The deceiver sits at the door of ones life waiting to strike. He is subtle and doesn’t always come with a fanfare but slithers around and encircled Eve’s soul with his lies and deception. He promised Eve an amazing thing, she would be like God, but he lied. He was doing the same with the church at Corinth. He seduced them also. He sent in wolves in sheep’s clothing. They looked the real deal, they  used scripture in a subtle way to lure the people. They were expecting great things, prosperity, power, healing, supernatural experiences. The enemy got them all excited and they were expecting wonderful miracles, but it never happened. Maybe they were told the lie they did not have enough faith or they had sinned. They were being seduced away from the simplicity of the victory of the cross. Satan is a subtle liar. He knew what people wanted to hear and he fed them with cunning deceit.

Satan’s Triple Delusion At Corinth

The three delusions. His lies led to three delusions – “another Jesus”, “ a different spirit” and “a different gospel.”  Sometimes when people mention Christ in a sermon or in Church Christians automatically think such people are talking about the same Jesus they believe in.  Words can be loaded they can mean different things to different people. The Mormons have a Jesus, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a Jesus, some sects have their Jesus, the Roman Catholics has it Jesus but we must find out what Jesus it is and do they add to his work?  This is what Paul was jealous over, he did not want a false Jesus. The false teachers had distorted the truth.  People may say , “Yes follow Jesus, but follow the law alos for salvation or You must help Jesus and work for your salvation.” Sometimes the false doctrine is not apparent until you ask questions. Anything that takes you away from the simplicity of the true gospel is deceit. Many at Corinth were beginning to follow a false gospel.

Paul Confronts the Super Apostles

Vs 5-6 Paul is contrasting true apostles with false apostles. He calls them “Super-apostles” because they claimed to be greater than the real apostles. They were the elite, they were special, a cut above the rest. Paul says he may not be a great speaker but he was knowledgeable or very intelligent. He life was right before God.

Vs 7 He is honest and humble. London, Apr 12 (ANI): Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has raked in a whooping six-figure fee for a 90-minute speech at a conference in Barcelona, Spain. According to Spanish newspapers, Blair has received at least 100,000 pounds for addressing 2,000 business leaders in Barcelona. Ex Prime minister or Presidents and political leaders today receive huge sums of money for speeches. Speeches are billed at the day rate of the Tiburon partner or principal who delivers the speech. Speaking fees are $35,000 for Tiburon’s managing partner. The practice is as old as Greece and Rome. And the Church has not escaped. Popular preachers today ask for large fees.

In Paul’s day travelling speakers and professional philosophers charged large fees.  If you charged a small fee you were thought to be a poor speaker and not worth hearing. Because Paul refused to take a fee they rejected him and said he was not worth going to hear. Because of this they concluded he was not an apostle.

Vs 7-9 “I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?” The gospel was free to them although other churches supported him.  He refused any money from this church.  He didn’t take any money from them when he came. No one should have to pay for the gospel. Paul did not want to be thought as being just another of the philosophers and orators speaking for money. “Have I committed some sin?” The false apostles criticized him for not taking money and saying it was because his message was deficient.

How Can I tell Who is a True Teacher?

A true teacher believes all the fundamental doctrines, a true teacher has a lifestyle to match his preaching, a true teacher has a good track record. You can check out his history. Look at these things look at their fruit. Are they loving? Are they humble? Are they sound in doctrine? Are they morally sound? Do they love money? Are they wanting to control people. Power, money and sex are three of the greatest temptations to preachers. What sort of  character do they have?

Paul did not want to be viewed as just another philosophers seeking money for his ministry. He didn’t want their money or to be a burden to them.  His support came from Macedonia.

Paul was a man of truth.

Verse 10 “As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia.” Paul had tried to be a truthful man and lived life with integrity and conviction.

Paul’s Motivation Was Love.

Vs. 11 “Because I do not love you? God knows I do.”  Paul was willing to forgo his status in society, to forsake all to bring the gospel to people. They were saying he didn’t love e them and it could be further from the truth. He was willing suffer loss of wealth, position and even heath for them. He didn’t take money because he didn’t want them to be obligated to him.

Marks of False Apostles

1. The false apostles are proud boasters. verse 12, “But what I’m doing I will continue to do. That I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded as just as we are in the matter about which they’re boasting.” Paul did not want to give the proud false teachers an opportunity to think he was like them. They claimed to be Christ’s super apostles from the church in Jerusalem. They were the true apostles, the super-apostles, better than Paul and Peter. They would love Paul to take money to identify with them.   Since he would not do that the option was to say he was a false apostle. They don’t want to be called into question. They were Gods anointed, they have the final word.

2. Verse 13, “Such men,” these false apostles who are marked by deception.  The church knew who they were. They peddle the Word of God, but not from God. They corrupt it, they manipulate it.

Paul says such men are false apostles, they claim to…pseudapostolos, they disguise themselves as if they’re apostles of Jesus Christ. They claim to be prophets and they weren’t.  They had come into the church and said they were Christ’s apostles. They claimed to speak in his name and that God speaks through them. We have a special message from him. They were certain men who crept in unawares (Acts 20) false prophets and teachers Matthew 7 disguised as prophets but inwardly were ravenous wolves. They came in to destroy, chew up and devastate the flock.

3. Vs 13 He calls them deceitful workers. They deceive people with their lies. Paul warned us about such people, “Let no one deceive you with empty words.” (Eph. 5:6;) and  “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, rather than according to Christ.” Col. 2:8. They deceive with words claiming they speak for God.  Their words are untrue. They in churches today.

4. Vs. 13, “disguising themselves.” They hide behind their words and people are unaware of what they are saying. They have a hidden agenda. Immature and ignorant people get seduced.

Verse 14, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Satan counterfeits and pretends to be an angel of light. He pretends to give light. His demons mimic him and use seductive doctrine, and false teachers to promote them. They sound like truth but in reality are lies. He produces his subtle character in his children.  He sneaks into church and hides behind his lies.  He false teachers are not only in many churches but also in pulpit, seminaries and missions.  He is a fifth columnist.

5. They Abuse people and take advantage of them. They are full of greed, deception and abuse. verse 20. “You bear with anyone Anybody who shows up, you just embrace them, even if they abuse you or devour you, or   take advantage of you.”  They receive another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel and accept false prophets and you just bear with them even though they enslave you, they seduce you into lies. They take peoples money, they take peoples freedom in Christ. They take from the poor, from the widows. They tell people they will get rich if they give to their ministry. They take advantage of you.  Countless numbers of Christians have been sucked in.  Many are still believing by faith a miracle will happen. These false teachers are people abusers, they always want something from you.  They don’t love people, they don’t give themselves away for people.

They Will Be Judged

verse 15. “Whose end shall be according to their deeds?” They’re not getting away with it.  The Lord will end it all. In the meantime he permits it that the genuine my be approved (1 Cor. 11) . God has included all things in his plan and will end it on schedule. Just as the righteous have a destiny so do the false teachers. They will be judged for their deception( Matthew 7:21-23). Their time will come.

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