Spiritual Warfare

Masquerade: Counterfeit Christianity

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

Ezekiel 3:18

I tried hard to think about something that upsets me more than a false gospel but I can’t think of anything.  I can’t think of a lie more serious and I can’t imagine there is something more hateful than lying to someone about God, their Creator, simply because you wish to gain something to benefit yourself or because you are too afraid to speak the truth. I abhor false doctrines and those who teach them are not only acting wickedly but also foolishly as God says He will hold them accountable.

In Matthew 7:15-16, Jesus tells us

Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them.  Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 

Since this is what Christ tells us, why are so many afraid to ‘search for fruit’ and compare the doctrines preached from the pulpit to the truth in the bible? Are we too lazy to pay close attention or are we too afraid, lest we be labelled ‘judgemental’? Whatever the case, we must judge correctly (John 7:4), according to scripture and not allow ourselves to be led astray.  Stop taking this lightly, your life depends on your faith.

I often pray for an increase of spiritual wisdom and discernment for God’s people because I believe we don’t understand how hard our flesh, the world and satan work to try to deceive us.  In Corinthians, Paul is addressing this issue of false teachings.  There were those who claimed to be apostles when they were not and deceived some people in the church of Corinth and Paul admonishes the Corinthians for tolerating this.  He warns them that on the onset, these people may appear to be preaching the gospel but in reality, they are not. We read in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

Some of the sophisticated schemes of satan are hard to spot.  And likewise false teachers can be hard to distinguish.  False teachers who preach another gospel are not explicit but implicit.  Their false teachings are not blatantly obvious but are slyly mixed into their teachings. Teachings, such as, God is limited by you in any way or coming to Jesus means you are now guaranteed a life of health, wealth and prosperity, or your word has the power to ‘create’ or ‘manifest’ things into existence, or that a Christian never sins, or that the bible is not sufficient etc. Sadly, the list goes on.

So how can you know the truth from the false?  How do you know who is preaching the word of God and who is compromising truth, leading others astray from God?  There is no quick method.  You will just have to read the bible for yourself and pray for a discerning heart. There are no short-cuts. If you do not read the bible for yourself, you are easy prey.

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