The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Friday, July 13, 2012
"Free kittens to a good home."
As we were visiting our Amish friends last week we heard some meowing above us. Looking up we saw these kittens calling for our attention from the hay loft. Some "well meaning" person dropped off a mom and three kittens, assuming a farm can always handle a few more cats.
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"Masquerading As Apostles Of Christ"
"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).
Earlier this week we visited a small town in Delaware with a beautiful church that was established during the Colonial period of our nation's history. However as we read literature about the church and visited their bookstore it pained us to see how far from orthodox Christianity it had drifted. As I looked through literature about the church I wondered how did it get this way? After spending a few minutes in the sanctuary I filled out the guest register as I departed and left this single Bible reference comment: Jude 1:3 Hopefully it will give someone food for thought!
Life is full of masquerades and counterfeits. I get lots of junk email advertising counterfeit drugs, bogus degrees, pirated software and scores of other masquerades. One website offers free Doctor of Divinity degrees and ordination for ministers and chaplains. Years ago my dog, Enoch, received a mail order ordination (after I "helped" him fill out the application")! The value of the genuine spawns the masquerade and thus it should not surprise us when we confront masquerades in the spiritual realm as well.
Paul often confronted and warned against counterfeit teaching and masquerading 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 who preach a different Jesus than the one he preached. This portion of Scripture is a warning in general about counterfeit teaching.
Later in Scripture Paul specifically exposes the false teaching of two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus. These troublemakers, who were once teachers of the genuine gospel, had wandered from the truth, denying the resurrection, and were thereby destroying the faith of those who chose to embrace their false teaching (2 Timothy 2).
Paul 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, the political arena, educational field, entertainment industry and even the religious establishment. On the personal level we daily face the flaming arrows of our enemy who seeks to move us off the right course. We must always be on our guard against spiritual masquerades.
The chief masquerader is Satan himself. It's his very nature to masquerade as an angel of light. In the Bible he initially came on the scene masquerading as a cunning and clever snake. In his deceptive craft he convinced Eve that he was able to impart wisdom and that he was looking out for her best interest. The word "masquerade" means "to transform one's outward appearance, to disguise." Not only did Satan disguise his outward appearance but also his inward motivation. In our daily text the original Greek "masquerade" is translated 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 all that we see, read, and hear so that we base 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: Father, 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. When we hide Your Word in our hearts we more quickly discern that which is masqueraded as good, but its source is from one of Satan's servants "masquerading as a servant of righteousness." Because Your Spirit reigns in our hearts and knowledge from Scripture fills our minds, we affirm that which is Scriptural and reject that which is heresy. May we ever be vigilant in attaining Scriptural knowledge and fervent in prayer as we encounter the gods of this age. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Some photos from our day yesterday.
Here's one of the happy kittens from the barn loft photo above that I picked up in the milk barn.
Many were out in the open carts on a beautiful summer day.
These little girls were out on a small cart pulled by a miniature horse. Looks like they were also pulling a wagon so this little horse was getting quite a workout!
Ester went on an errand in the buggy with Anna Ruth and her five children. It was not air-conditioned but they had plenty of natural air!
We took our daughter Ester and her puppy Mollie over to our friends for the day so Mollie could get better acclimated to the farm setting, since she and Roxie will be spending a week or so there when we vacation. She got quite a work-out as the children threw her toys a good part of the day. She also played tug of war as seen in this photo with one of the children. They sure enjoyed playing with Mollie and she came home very tired.
George, a friend of ours, came over for dinner last night and to assist us with a plumbing problem. He can throw a frisbee much farther than Stephen yet Mollie was still able to run after it and catch it. It's a beautiful sight for those who enjoy watching dogs run and fetch frisbees.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resource
The true story of my dog, "Rev. Enoch".
"No One Believes in Me Anymore" Video Keith Green
How Sure the Scriptures Are!
(Tune of “Rejoice, the Lord Is King”)
How sure the Scriptures are! God’s vital, urgent word,
As true as steel, and far more sharp than any sword:
So deep and fine,
At His control they pierce where soul and spirit join.
They test each human thought, refining like a fire;
They measure what we ought to do and to desire:
For God knows all –
Exposed it lies before His eyes to whom we call.
Let those who hear His voice confronting them today,
Reject the tempting choice of doubting or delay:
For God speaks still –
His word is clear, so let us hear and do His will!
(by Christopher Idle, 1976 ©1982 Hope Publishing Company)
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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