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The Great Masquerade

The Great Masquerade

Words of Faith 12-15-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 11

   [13] For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. [14] And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. [15] It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

 

       There was no doubt in Paul's mind that the traveling apostles that had wormed their way into the lives of the Corinthians believers were false and deceitful. Though Paul had been mild in his remarks about the "super-apostles"-- the Twelve in Jerusalem-- here he gave the false apostles a withering denunciation.

         No matter how good they looked or how well they spoke they were only shams--"pseudo apostles"-- fakes wearing the outer appearance of following Christ. They claimed to be ambassadors of Christ when, in fact, they were emissaries or servants of Satan. Like whitewashed tombs they may have looked righteous but inside there was only death and decay prefiguring their doom.

       Like Satan's masquerade as an angel of light, they were masquerading as apostles and servants of righteousness. The Greek word means "changing the outward form.” These false apostles were putting on an outer form that would gain them entry into the hearts of the Corinthian believers.

       This is a powerful picture of religious deception. This is the stuff that cults are made from. As the old country song declares "all that glitters is not gold" and all that claims to be "light" is not from God. There are those who masquerade as light but really are driven by Satan. One prominent alternative religion boasts of an “angel of light” revealing a new book with an alternative gospel. But there is no "angel of light" except for Satan.

       Jesus is "the light of the world" but he never claimed to be "an angel of light.” In fact, this verse is the only place in the Bible that the phrase even appears. There are no "angels of light" in the Bible except for Satan. The name Lucifer means "morning star" or "brightness," clearly a reference to this identity.

         What do we gain from this? The primary realization for us is that Satan does not present himself in a hideous way that reveals the rotting stench of death that he is. Satan masquerades as an angel of light. He presents himself in a most attractive way. We should be wary of angels, movements, messengers and leaders that look great on the outside, but there is a "check" in our spirit about them or they can be seen to be twisting scripture or not grounded in the Word at all.

         We should also be wary of the general tendency to masquerade. We live for the truth and not for appearances yet we live in a culture that is driven by image. It can be very tempting to put on the image of a certain movement or ministry in an effort to be more acceptable or appealing. These are the little masquerades we sometimes buy into. We think if we have a certain image or make a trendy name change perhaps we can be more successful and appealing in the eyes of the world.

         But God is not a God of masquerade. The truth of the Gospel is timeless. Packaging it differently is of no particular benefit and can be a great detriment if it is watered down in the process. In these days that we live in, more than ever, we need to be rooted in the Word of God and in daily relationship with the Lord Jesus that shows us the difference. We need to be guided by the Word and the Spirit as we worship Him in Spirit and in truth. No masquerades.

 

       Father God, keep my eye upon You. Keep my course steady. Let me not be distracted by the glitter and slick exterior appearances. Focus me on Your Spirit and Your Truth. Give me discernment to always know the difference and see what is motivated by You and what is not. In Jesus' Name.