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Monday, June 18, 2007
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"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, 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 masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
My sister Genelle has advised us to be cautious concerning toothpaste that may contain the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze. Apparently there is counterfeit toothpaste, so even if you buy a brand name you need to examine the packaging carefully. Since the toothpaste is sold as Colgate which we often buy I paid special attention when I purchased several tubes on sale a couple days ago.
Life is full of counterfeits although we are probably most familiar with the term "counterfeit" in regard to money. I get lots of junk email advertising counterfeit drugs, counterfeit diplomas and counterfeit software. An online study of counterfeits revealed that there are counterfeits to just about everything. The value of the genuine spawns counterfeits and thus we should not be surprised that we will confront counterfeits in the Kingdom of God as well.
Paul confronted and warned against counterfeit teaching and false apostles. That's one of the duties of a caring shepherd. In 2 Corinthians 11:1-15 Paul dealt with the topic of false apostles and concludes this section with the daily Scripture verses. In 2 Timothy 2 he refers to two men by name, Hymenaeus and Philetus, who had wandered from the truth, denied the resurrection, and had destroyed the faith of some.
He describes the counterfeits he dealt with in 2 Corinthians as "false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ." The relentless attack on the genuine faith that Paul encountered continues unabated today and is actually increasing in my view. We face it from the scientific realm, media outlets, educational field and even the religious establishment. On the personal level we daily face the flaming arrows of our enemy that seeks to move us off the right course. We ever need to be on our guard against spiritual counterfeits.
The chief counterfeiter is Satan himself. It's his very nature, masquerading as an angel of light. In the Bible he initially comes on the scene in a masquerade, deceiving Eve as one who was good and able to impart wisdom. The word "masquerade" means "to transform one's outward appearance, to disguise." It's in the present tense indicating this is something Satan habitually does.
It is not surprising that Satan's servants also "masquerade as servants of righteousness." We must continue to examine and discern basing our standard on the genuine Word of God, which remains and always will be the firm foundation of truth!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Lord, we ask You to not only open our eyes to that which is around us, but we ask You to open the eyes of our hearts so that we might envision that which is true and that which is false on a spiritual level. May we continue to hide Your Word in our hearts that we might not sin against You. How blessed we are to know that as You reign in our hearts, our spirits bear witness to that which is Scriptural and that which is heresy. May we ever be vigilant in Scripture and fervent in prayer as we encounter the god of this age. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Counterfeit toothpaste article
Brooksyne's Note: We trust you had a nice Father's Day celebration yesterday. Ester and I had the opportunity to recognize the fathers in our congregation yesterday in our Worship Service. Ester shared a brief history of how the Father's Day Celebration came about and then she shared an acrostic for FATHER that we wrote together on Saturday. Perhaps our Daily Encouragement readers will appreciate the following words:
F - He's a friend who forgives often.
A – He is affectionate and accepting of his children.
T – He trains and teaches his children to obey and love God.
H – He hears his children's hearts and attempts to meet their needs.
E – He earns a living to provide for his family.
R – He remembers his children regularly in prayer!
We concluded with a special prayer for the fathers in our congregation.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
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