It's A Masquerade
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Elder Clarence Weaver
"For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
It is important for every believer to understand the sobering fact that many false prophets and apostles abound in the church today. They masquerade as Christian preachers and ministers. They even have large churches and ministries. And some go as far as to proclaim themselves to be “apostle so-and-so.”
A True Apostle of Christ
Since the title of apostle or prophet carries great authority and responsibility, it should never be used irresponsibly or for the purpose of enhancing or exaggerating one’s own importance, power, or reputation (self-aggrandizement). God’s Word warns us that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled…” – Matthew 23:12.
Satan’s Ministers Masquerade As Angels of Light
So often when we think of Satan we think of scary movies or evil atrocities in society. Though these may be evidence of Satan’s work, he does his best work looking good. This struggle is the same one that all people battle. We want control. We want to rule our lives. We want the final say; when actually all the power, glory, honor and praise belong to God. As Christians we must realize no matter how much we feel in control, we are not. Satan was so full of pride he thought he could be God. Only when we realize God is in control can we sense God’s power in our lives.
Satan will most likely never appear in your life in a way that horrifies you. He knows that the best way to get Christians and even unbelievers to follow him is to look good on the outside. I believe Satan does better work in the local church then he does in the local bar. Satan works through preachers consumed with power, people consumed with gossip and slander, churches that use dead programs, traditional methodology and stagnant worship.
Here is a simple way to resist Satan. It starts in our mind, so think on these phrases.
Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst;
he promises honor but pays with disgrace;
he promises pleasure and pays with pain;
he promises profit and pays with loss;
he promises life and pays with death.
Before you accept the teachings or leadership of anyone who calls themselves a “prophet” or “apostle” today, be careful to test his or her ministry. Make sure they have the qualifications of a genuine apostle of Christ, and are truly bearing the fruits of righteousness. Also ask yourself, “Is this professing apostle genuinely walking in humility and teaching the way of Christ? Or, are they prideful and deceptively exalting themselves in order to get people to follow them?”
Remember the warnings of Jesus: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves…” – Matthew 7:15-16, 20.