Friday, 4 December 2015
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14
In the previous verse, Paul spoke of the “false apostles” as those who would transform themselves into apostles of Christ. Now he says, “And no wonder!” This then shows why they do this. It is because they are just like their leader, Satan, who “transforms himself into an angel of light.” The verb is in the present tense and so this is not speaking of any specific incident found in Scripture. Rather, it is speaking of his customary way of working at all times.
He is an enemy of all that is good, and the titles used to describe him in the New Testament show that his very nature is evil. And yet, he presents himself as a shining example of what is proper and correct. The term “angel of light” indicates purity and holiness. However, if he supposedly “transforms himself” into this, then it is a false representation of who he is. It is not his true nature, but a cunning disguise which is intended to lure the unsuspecting away from the truth.
This then is the explanation of the false apostles’ conduct of the preceding verse. They follow in form and style with their leader, Satan. This transformation is found in the message that is presented, in the twisting of the truth, in the perversion of Scripture, in attributing the works of wickedness to that which is of God, etc.
It is incumbent on all people to study the word in order to show themselves approved when a false teacher, or even the devil himself, comes with a false message. But how impossible that is without knowing the word! And so the world is filled with cults, heresies, and those who follow after anyone with a crazy vision or a supposed “word from the Lord” which is no word at all. Satan uses all of these avenues, and ten thousand more, to lure away precious souls from the grace of Christ the Lord to another gospel, which is no gospel at all.
Paul carefully warns us of such deception in Galatians 1 –
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9
Life application: To avoid being deceived by the devil, know your Bible.
Lord God, Your word tells us that Satan is real and that he transforms himself into an angel of light to deceive us from the truth. And so how can we know if we are being duped by this bad dude? We have to know Your word! If this is a battle between good and evil and Your word gives us the framework for the conflict, then we would be as dull as ditchwater to not want to know and apply Your word to our lives. Help us to not be as dull as ditchwater. Amen.