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False Apostles

John Collins09/20/2012

Paul writing in 2 Corinthians 11 was upset because of "false apostles."  Preaching a different message than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they were leading some astray.

He felt foolish discussing the subject with them, likely feeling that they should know this already.  But he asked the people to bear with him as he gave them correction.

He said that he felt a "divine jealousy" towards them, because he had presented the church as a "pure virgin" to Christ.  As a husband weds his pure bride, He had presented them to Christ with the Gospel.  

Yet, the people seemed to have went astray.  Just as the serpent deceived Eve, the people were let away by cunning people who came with deceit.  They no longer had a sincere and pure devotion to Christ, they were elevating these deceivers as "super apostles."

Paul said that he was not the least bit inferior to these "super-apostles."  Even though Paul was not as skilled in his speech as they were, he was more so in knowledge of the Gospel.  Everything Paul had made known to them, he did so plainly so they could easily understand.  There was no other Jesus than the one Paul preached about, and no other spirit than the one that they had received.

He asked them if he was wrong in the way he humbled himself so that they could be exalted.  He had preached the Gospel to them free of charge, yet they were turning towards men who were seeking to profit.  He accepted support from other churches so that he could preach to them without cost, and did not burden anyone with his needs.  

Paul said that he was going to undermine the claim of those that had boasted themselves before the people.  He would continue to do so, and let the word spread that they were false apostles.  They were deceitful, disguising themselves as an apostle of Christ.

He compared these false apostles directly to Satan.  Satan himself puts on the disguise of an angel of light.  It should be no surprise to them that Satan's servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.  

Paul said that their end would correspond to their deeds.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we follow after men who spread a message different than the Gospel of Jesus?  Have we elevated men above ourselves, when even the Apostle Paul humbled himself and asked to remain so?  Have we created "super-apostles," men who we consider to be greater than ourselves?  Do we rely on their spirit instead of the Holy Spirit within our hearts?  Do we follow after strange lights, when even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light?  Do we remain in the following of men whose end has already corresponded to their deeds?