Yesterday we examined the verse where Paul informs us that Satan has the ability to become an angel of light. Today’s verse informs us of a very practical example of how a satanic messenger might appear.
He might appear as a Christian leader.
The Greek word translated as apostle simply means an ambassador…a messenger…or one who is sent.
We must never forget that Satan will send and empower people who on the surface will appear to be followers of Jesus. They may say many of the right words…and even display some right actions.
But they are false teachers…deceitful workman…seeking to deceive followers of Jesus.
It was happening at the time of Paul…and it still happens today.
They may appear on TV…in large churches…or small churches. Every teacher should be closely examined to make sure they are true followers of Jesus.
We examine them in two ways.
First, examine their words…closely.
We compare their words with Scripture. This is why it’s so important for us to possess a basic knowledge of Scripture. If you are still young in the faith, find a mentor who has followed the Lord for some time to help you discern the truth.
Be careful to examine all of their words.
False teachers have a way of saying many right words and occasionally weaving in falsehood in ways that are often overlooked.
They are masters at deception.
After all…Satan’s had thousands of years of practice.
If all of the words don’t match up to Scripture…be very wary.
Second…examine their actions.
There is nothing more revealing than a Bible teacher who lives in a multi-million dollar mansion.
It speaks for itself.
But many false teachers are not so obvious. Many will attempt to hide their self-directed actions, requiring a closer look.
A true leader who is a follower of Jesus will be a servant-leader. He or she will recognize that their leadership mantle has been given to them by the original Servant-Leader who gave His life for us all.
The true Christian leader will attempt to follow that life pattern…and it will be evident if we look closely enough.
Don’t be fooled by false teachers…search for a true servant-leader and grow under their tutelage.
Prayer: Lord, lead me to teachers and pastors who truly follow after You.