I’ve been reading through 1st and 2nd Corinthians again using the Amplified Version of the Bible. Anyone who thinks that the problems our Pastors face in our Churches today are different from what the original Apostles faced, haven’t been paying attention to the Epistles of the Apostle Paul.
The Church at Corinth is particularly interesting because it was a relatively new Church. They had received excellent instruction from Paul himself and according to what Paul indicated, their reception of the Gospel had been very positive and they lacked nothing, but it didn’t stay that way for very long.
There are many subjects within 1st and 2nd Corinthians that I could expound upon but it struck me as odd that of all things, Paul had to warn them about false Apostles. Here’s a couple of scriptures I’d like you to look at:
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NIV
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
2 Corinthians 11:12-15 NIV
“And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 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.”
Notice that Paul identifies three specifics that are associated with false Apostles:
- a different Jesus
- a different spirit
- a different Gospel
Also notice that Paul provides three descriptions of these false Apostles:
- masquerading as apostles of Christ
- masquerading as an angle of light
- masquerading as servants of righteousness
You wouldn’t think that false apostles would be something that the early Church would have to deal with, especially because the original Apostles where obviously there, at hand, so to speak, but as we can see, apparently this isn’t necessarily so.
A different Jesus, a different spirit and a different Gospel.
How Satan chose to attack the truth of the Gospel back then is exactly how he continues his attack to this very day. As many of you know, I have written extensively about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement within Christianity. If you’re not familiar with the NAR movement and it’s incredible growth within Christianity, I would ask that you take a look at a number of my posts on this subject by selecting “New Apostolic Reformation” under Post Categories on my home page.
Within the NAR movement, doctrine concerning the divinity of Jesus, specifically with regard to the fact that Jesus was both God and man, at the same time, is challenged. And Paul doesn’t deny that there is a spirit at work with the false Apostles of his day but he clearly indicates that it is not the Holy Spirit. And the Gospel is attacked, where Paul’s Gospel focuses on Christ crucified for our sins, the Resurrection and our continued life in walking in the Spirit, the NAR Gospel focuses on our dreams and our experience.
When Paul writes these letters to the Church at Corinth, among other things, he reminds them of what they first received, through the Holy Spirit. He reminds them of their foundation, which is Jesus. He reminds them of the simplicity of the Gospel (1st Corinthians 15:3-8 NIV), he reminds them to test the spirits (1st Corinthians 12:3 NIV) and he reminds them that when the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation, all things are to be done in decency, propriety and in an orderly fashion (1st Corinthians 14:40 NIV) and he reminds them that this is a command of the Lord.
The fact that Paul emphasizes that this is a command of the Lord should forever settle any controversy with regard to manifestations of the spirit that are rampant with bedlam and unbiblical spirit manifestations, as witnessed to in many of the NAR “awakenings” such as what transpired at the “Toronto Blessing” and what takes place at Bethel Church (Bill Johnson) in Redding, California.
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
False Apostles, false manifestations and a false Gospel. Away back in the early Church and still here today.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!