B. False Apostles exposed. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Paul wrote of Satan’s evil work in chapter 11, verse 3. The importance of this deception is brought out by Paul mentioning Satan’s work again in these few verses. He wanted the church to know who was directing the teaching of these false apostles. The terrible thing is that these men may not have even known that they were wrong in what they were doing. Many times men believe the lies they tell. We can understand this though, because God tells us that Satan blinds the minds of those that do not believe, so that they believe a lie.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
He then uses them to keep the unbelieving blind and keep the believing confused. We must be aware and know that this is what Paul is trying to help us to understand – Satan’s servants present themselves in the same way that he does. Remember how he tempted Eve in the beginning? Genesis 3:1-8
Read and remember – take note of –
1. His careful approach. Genesis 3:1a
He was called ‘subtil’. He did not do anything to frighten Eve when he came to talk to her.
2. His concern for her welfare. Genesis 3:1b
He talked about what she could not have – did she have enough to satisfy her needs?
3. His challenge to God’s Word. Genesis 3:4
God did not mean what He had said. How could she possibly be separated from God?
“God would never cast you away – He created you and put you here”!
4. His charge against God’s purpose. Genesis 3:5
God simply did not want them to know what He knew. He was jealous and did not want His own creation to know all the He knows, His perfect knowledge.
Eve was deceived because she had not prepared her heart to resist temptation.
When anyone tells you that God does not mean what He says, or they say that they do not need to do God’s work God’s way – according to His Word – walk away immediately!
Do not be too shy to ask them what they believe about Jesus.
2 John 10-11 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine (the doctrine of Christ), receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
After warning them about the false teachers, Paul asked the people to listen and consider what he had to say about his ministry unto the Lord –
C. Fair hearing requested. 2 Corinthians 11:16-21
He asked the church to have patience with him as he presented his case to them. He admitted that he was humbling himself, acting in a way that Jesus never did –
1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
But Paul believed that it was necessary at this time for the good of the church. If the church members were so willing to believe those false teachers that did not really love them,
2 Corinthians 11:19-20 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
– would they at least listen to him and think about what he said? Paul then began to tell them what he was going through, what he willingly faced, because of his love for God and for them. He wrote about how he –
D. Faced adversity. 2 Corinthians 11:22-33
Today I want to make sure that we are prepared to recognize false teaching and false teachers. Paul’s love for them was so great that he begged them to listen to him, it is the least thing that we should do is also take time and listen to him.
How do we know that men are false teachers?
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
How do we “try the spirits whether they are of God…”?
Know His Word –
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Know His will – Stay close and seek His leadership –
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We are given very clear instruction from the Lord through the writings of Paul to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 6:13-18
How do we know God’s will for our lives?
Be doing everything that you know you should without even praying about it. Then, seek His direction through prayer and seeking direction through His Word.