Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Shapeshifter enemy

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15

TO CHEW ON: " ... for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14

One of the main elements of winning a battle is knowing the enemy. Paul, in our reading today, draws our attention to two of our enemy Satan's characteristics.

  • Paul calls him crafty, in the way he deceived Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3, referring to Genesis 3:4,13).
[Craftiness - panourgia is "Versatile cleverness, astute knavery, sophisticated cunning, unscrupulous conduct, evil treachery, deceptive scheming, arrogant shrewdness, and sly arrogance. Used only five times in the N.T. it refers to: Satan's deceiving Eve (our passage); the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus (Luke 20:23); the deception of false teachers (Ephesians 4:14); the self-entrapment of the worldly-wise (1 Corinthians 3:19); and the improper method of presenting the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:2)" - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1584.]

  • He is also a transformer—a shapeshifter, able to appear as what he is not, i.e. an angel of light.

How can we know when a person who claims to represent Christ is actually a minion of crafty Satan, such as Paul accused the fake Corinthians apostles of being?

Wayne Grudem in his chapter on Satan in Systematic Theology says:

"...the Epistles indicate that demonic influence will lead to blatantly false doctrinal statements, such as exclaiming, 'Jesus be cursed' (1 Corinthians 12:3); or a refusal to confess 'that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh' (1 John 4:2-3). In both instances the context deals with the testing of people who may be 'false prophets' and who want to use spiritual gifts to speak in the assembly of the church (1 Corinthians 12) or specifically to prophesy (1 John 4:1-6)" Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p, 426.

How do we know what is a blatantly false doctrinal statement? How can we test it? I would submit that it is with what we have that is doctrinally true, i.e. God's word.

Again we see the importance of knowing God's word so that we are not tricked or lured away by deceitful 'angel of light' teachers or leaders.

PRAYER: Dear God, please alert me to Satan's crafty lies and deceptive transformations. Help me, by Your indwelling Holy Spirit, to recall and apply Your word when I am in doubt about a teaching or person.  Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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