Watch Out for the False [2 Corinthians 11]

3But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.4For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.14No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Recently, we went to Hawaii to spend some time with my elderly aunt. When we go there, she makes sure we get out and see the sights and so we spent time perusing the numerous brochures. It was startling to see that throughout the visitor information were attractive ads for New Age experiences (for things like astro-travel and soul finding). Then, in one cute little town where we went to see a statue of the first King of Hawaii, there was a rock store called Star Light. The shop was beautiful and full of gorgeous rocks and crystals from all over the world. The owner of the store, a young 30 something, quiet spoken and nice looking woman began talking about the energy of the stones and how they affect people and that God made them that way. She sounded so sweet, knowledgeable and godly, I ended up buying a pirite stone pendant mostly because it was pretty, but the woman also said it was known for protecting people from negative energy.

Later, after we had been home a while, I came across the brochure from the rock lady's store. As it turned out, this sweet attractive lady was into all sorts of New Age practices including channeling "spirits of light." According to the brochure, for $25 you could have these spirits talk to you through the woman giving you insight for your personal growth. It all sounds so innocent and wonderful until you hold these things up to the light of the Word of God. The truth is that Jesus is my protector, not a pirite stone. Jesus talks to me through His Word and directly to my heart and mind when I have problems and questions. There is no need for me to pay an intermediary to get information from some "so-called spirit of light." In fact, that sort of thing could lead us away from God, not to Him.

Here in 2 Corinthians 11, Paul warned the Corinthians not to be deceived concerning Satan and his workers and their disguises. They do not come to us dressed up with red suits, pointy ears and pitch forks, nor do they look any different than people that we know and love. But they come and want to seduce us to their sources of power which are ultimately those of Satan. These enemies of God can't destroy us, but they can derail our relationship with the Lord and lead us into things that would be harmful for us.

How do we protect ourselves against such influences? Financial institutions train their workers how to recognize fake money by having them study real money because if you are very familiar with the real thing, the fakes become more obvious. As a followers of Christ, we will be protected from the deceptions of Satan and his forces by getting to know God better and better so that anything that is not God will be obvious.

The rock lady's smooth, knowledgeable and quiet manner on the surface looked good and godly. She acted genuinely interested in my well-being and wanted to help me on my journey in life. But, under closer scrutiny and in light of the Word of God, what she was doing was not of God... it was not pointing to the true Light, Jesus. Throughout the New Testament we are warned against such false teaching. Being sucked into such things is a danger for Christians and God wants us to be so acquainted with Him that we will see right through the false.

We praise You that You are the true light and that we can know You well through the Word, prayer and fellowship with other believers. Cause us to know you so well that we are not deceived and drawn away from Your path.
Beth Warlick, 6/29/2009