Twice-Guilty Thieves #4

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

“For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face” (2 Corinthians 11:20 KJV).

Beloved, take today’s Scripture to heart, lest religion take your heart so they can take from you!

In the context of today’s Scripture, Paul is defending his apostleship. He writes that he is concerned about false teachers polluting his Corinthian believers. They preach false gospels, false Jesuses, and false spirits (verses 1-4). Verse 13 describes them as “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” Actually, verse 22 indicates these false teachers were Jews, which implies what they were preaching to the Corinthians to turn them against Paul and his ministry.

Paul preached, “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14); however, the false teachers taught the Corinthians, “Ye are not under grace, but law!” They were slandering and denying Paul’s apostleship and message in order to gain the Corinthians’ trust. Sadly, it worked!

Today’s Scripture demonstrates how these false apostles negatively influenced the Corinthians. The Corinthians were taken “into bondage” (Mosaic Law-keeping; Acts 15:10; Galatians 4:9; Galatians 5:1), wrongly believing they were under Israel’s performance-based acceptance system of law (works-religion/legalism also deceived Galatia [Galatians 5:1-5] and Ephesus [1 Timothy 1:3-11]; cf. Acts 15:1-5.). The Corinthian Christians were taught to be Scriptural: perform to get God’s blessings as taught in the Bible’s “Old Testament.” (They are today’s prosperity preachers!)

Claiming Israel’s verses as though they are ours is, essentially, to deny our identity in the Church the Body of Christ. Attempting to follow a program that God never gave us is to reject the program He did give us through Paul. It is a deliberate refusal to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

“Name it and claim it” preachers literally “steal Israel’s verse to embezzle your purse!” Despite their alleged sincerity, the Bible is clear these false teachers are not serving God. They are actually extorting money from you under false pretenses (today’s Scripture). What is most appalling? They are using Scripture, and giving “God” the praise!