May 15, 2013
II Corinthians 11:13-15
(All quotations are from the New King James Version)
There is something we as Christians must know about our enemy. It is related to our last blog in which we discussed that Satan “…is a liar, and the father of it.” Let’s look at what Paul wrote in II Corinthians 11:13 through 15:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into
apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into
an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform
themselves into ministers of righteousness; whose end will be according to their
The apostle is talking about false teachers who have wormed their way into the churches Paul has established in Corinth and elsewhere. In verse 12 he describes them as “…those who commend themselves…measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves….” These teachers are not wise, Paul says, and the opposite of being wise is being a fool – one who lives, according to Psalm 14:1, as if there is no God!
But a chief characteristic of such false teachers is that they transform themselves to look and act like apostles of Christ. But in actuality, they are apostles – sent ones in the Greek – of the devil! “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (II Corinthians 11:14). If their master so transforms himself, the ones he sends will do the same!
The main point of this blog is – Satan is not what he so often seems to be! He is a fraud! He can look so good! He can even appear as “…an angel of light…”! Now, who wouldn’t trust an angel of light? Such an angel would have to be sent from God, right? NO! But a lot of people have bought into this deception of the devil!
How can the evil one appear as “…an angel of light”? Well, he was an angel in the beginning (see Ezekiel 28:12-16 and the discussion in the May 6th blog). Apparently, he has lost none of his original beauty, but all of his original goodness! Satan is not a red, horned, ugly devil with a tail and carrying a pitchfork, the one who reigns over hell! He is active upon the earth today, with many minions to help him – demons. He will only be in hell when the Lord casts him into that final place of judgment (see Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 19:20).
I will show you how easily this one who “…transforms himself into an angel of light…” can deceive people, even Christians who are not properly grounded in God’s Word. In a Bible study that I have taught for the last eleven years, we are currently studying the book of Revelation. When we started, I asked the 16 or so Christians in attendance to turn to Revelation 6:2 and read that verse:
And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he that sat on it had a bow; and
a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering and to conquer.
“Now to whom,” I asked, “is this verse referring?” Almost everyone in attendance (except my wife) replied, “It has to be the Lord Jesus.” But it isn’t the Lord Jesus! It is a picture of the antichrist in the first half of the tribulation, the first relatively peaceful and prosperous part of that final seven year period! But if you don’t know what the real thing looks like, the devil incarnate sure looks good! Then I had them turn to the real thing in Revelation 19:11 through 16:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him
was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had
a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe
dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies of
heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the
nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads
the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on
His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS, AND LORD
Which description is of the Lord Jesus Christ and which one is of Satan incarnate? When you know the real thing, it is much easier to identify the false!
Those who are trained by our government to spot counterfeit money are instructed more concerning the real thing, than on the counterfeit. They are taught to be so familiar with what is real – the look (the apparent as well as the hidden features), the feel, the smell – all the characteristics of the real – that they can spot a phony, a counterfeit right away!
Are you so familiar with the Lord Jesus Christ that you can spot the one who “…transforms himself into an angel of light…”? There are a lot of “…false apostles, deceitful workers…” ready to lead astray those who are not properly grounded in the things of God. Get in the Word! Get so familiar with Jesus Christ and the truth He came to reveal that you will be able to spot something phony in a moment!
We will continue with this study of Know Your Enemy!…