Temple Baptist Church - 7-30-2008
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Introduction: We will spend several weeks on this particular passage of Scripture because of its prophecy concerning the last days in which we live. I will more than likely preach only the introduction this first night. I had rather quit soon than to get into something that will take longer than we have and have to quit.
A. In Verses 2-4, we see the Apostle’s heart and goal:
1. The Jealousy of the Bride (vs. 2) - Do not “mess with” the church! It is a godly jealousy, not a fleshly one. Every man of God is protective of the local church. The hireling flees when the wolf comes.
2. The Espousal of the Bride (vs. 2) - The church belongs to Christ and the espousal is as binding as the marriage.
3. The Chastity of the Bride (vs. 2) – The beauty of a bride is her purity! That is why she is always dressed in white and veiled.
4. The Concern of the Servant (vs. 3) – “I fear” The church is at the heart of the pastor.
5. The Craftiness of the Serpent (vs. 3) – “beguiled…subtilty” Satan is devious and deceptive.
6. The Coming of the Apostasy (vs. 4)
7. The Caution of the Apostle (vs. 4)
B. We live in the days of 2 Thessalonians 2 which describes the spiritual deception of our day. We are in the midst of the “falling away” prophesied in this chapter. Good, fundamental churches are no longer “politically correct” in our society where sin is not only tolerated but also promoted. To preach against sin is the “unpardonable sin” of the day.
C. Dr. Harold Sightler once said this about the deception: “It is a Planned attack and it is a Manned attack.” From the serpent in the Garden of Eden to the wicked, money hungry charlatan who counterfeits God’s healings on the television set—to the false brethren who continue to “creep” into universities and churches—destroying both their faith and fellowship, the apostasy continues to deceive.
D. Satan is the great counterfeiter! He is good at what he does to the point that the Bible says:
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
1. Satan counterfeits churches. God has never ordained liberalism at any level! Liberal churches are counterfeits! Ignorant people say, “It does not matter where you go to church as long as you go.” It does matter!
Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
2. Satan counterfeits saints. Matthew 13 deals with the different soils and characterizes the different results. This same chapter also prophesies the “planting” of the tares among the wheat.
Matthew 13:27-28 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
3. Satan counterfeits preachers.
a) There are “sincere” false preachers - Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (These are ignorant false preachers who may have the best of intentions but are false none the less. My mind goes back to Saul of Tarsus before his conversion: he was sincere in his efforts to serve God though in error and causing much harm.)
b) There are “satanic” false preachers - Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (These men know that they are not saved! These men make merchandise of spiritual things! These men laugh at and mock those ignorant “disciples” who follow them! These men will receive the “greater damnation!”)
c) Satan uses both of these types of “false preachers” to introduce false doctrine into the local church. God’s people need to learn to:
1) Identify them - Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Look at their disciples! Worldly and ungodly!)
2) Mark and avoid them - Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Look at their doctrine! Contrary to clear scripture! God will never operate contrary to His Word!)
E. Understanding and recognition of false teachers or preachers is not difficult task for the diligent Bible student who knows Christ Jesus and has the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, living within.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.
F. God’s Word brings about stability and doctrinal pureness in the believer. There is one absolute authority and that is the Bible! If you want to know the truth or how to identify false teachers, simply go to God’s Word.
Ephesians 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples (students and learners) indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.