Super Apostles Or Pseudo Apostles

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:1-6

1 I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me.
2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.
3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.
4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
5 But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things.
6 I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way.

INTRODUCTION

Paul paints a word picture here of a loving father who is jealous for his daughter. He wants to keep her pure for her wedding day. He wants to present her to her husband as a chaste and pure bride. It is a priviledge that not many fathers are getting these days. Paul confesses in verse 3…. “I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted.” Paul is worried about the church in Corinth.

The Problem

Evidently, some false teachers {Super-Apostles} had infiltrated the church. The evidence indicates that they were Judaizers, a brand of so called Christianity that was a blend of works and grace. Paul is very upset because these false teacher are very cunning and they seemed to have gained a foothold in the Corinthian Church. It seems that they were even popular with at least one segment of the congregation. Paul is upset and he has every right to be upset.

 All false teacher have certain things in common.

I. ALL FALSE TEACHER [PSEUDO APOSTLES] PRACTICE DECEIT

But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. [v.3]

Robert Tasker said, “The chief weapon of all false teachers is subtilty.” I agree with Tasker completely. False Teachers are cunning. They know how to hide the facts that will give them away. The Judaizers, to whom Paul was dealing with were pedalers of half-truth. A lot of what they said was true. The problem was, they mixed the truth with untruth. When that begins to happen, there is confussion because no one knows the truth from the lie. This is what Satan did to Eve in the Garden, he mixed truth with a lie and then replaced God’s truth with his lie. The end effect of deceit is that we are fooled.

False Prophets tell some truth but not the whole truth. We have something similiar going on in the SBC today. We have a resurgance of Calvinism which goes under the title of Reform Theology. A lot of the young men in our Seminaries have been influenced by men like David Platte and Al Mohler. When they preach and interview in leu of a call, they keep their Reform beliefs hidden. They do so because they know that most SBC churches are not going to call a hyper-Calvinist.

The first church I pastored was in such a situation just a few years ago. After some hints, one of the members of the search committee came right out and asked candidate, “Are you a Calvinist?” But he did not answer the question directly. He gave a political answer: he said a lot without saying anything. Finally, the entire committee said, “We want an answer, yes or no, are you a Calvinist?” He confessed and the interview was over. I never attempted to hide anything from a church. Matter of fact, if a church was calling me, my trial sermon would be TEN REASONS you don’t want to call me.

The use of deceit is always evil and a sure sign that something is not right.

II. FALSE TEACHERS ARE CULTISH–THEY WANT A FOLLOWING

[v.3] I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted. 

The NASB like this...But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Pseudo Apostles, false teacher, false prophets are always looking for a following. Paul’s concern here is that the Corinthians will be led away from their simple devotion to Christ. People don’t recognize false teachers right off the bat because they are subtle, cunning and they slowly move the followers away from Christ and to themselves.

When a congregation talks more about their pastor than they do Jesus, it is not a good sign. When they praise their pastor more than Jesus, it is not a good sign. The Christian church is to be CHRIST CENTERED. Everything is to be focused on Jesus. TASKER: “Whenever the Christian Church ceases to be purely Christ-centered, it is in danger of being corrupted.”

Our Bumper Sticker at DBC is “Celebrate Jesus.” You are going to hear it everytime you show up. Our goal in worship is to lift up and celebrate Jesus. Everything we do is focused on Jesus.

A false teacher will slowly move the followers away from devotion to Christ until they are absolutely devoted to their spiritual leader {false teacher}. Jim Jones could not have seduced 350 sober Christians to commit suicide. Jim slowly lead them away from Christ and to himself to the point they were absolutely loyal to him no matter what. I like loyalty, especially to your pastor but your first loyalty is to Jesus. Your highest allegience is to Jesus. Any spiritual leader that wants you to love him/her more than Jesus is a devil. I understand that the more you love Jesus, the more you will love me but loving HIM come first.

III. FALSE TEACHER OFFER MORE THAN THE NEW TESTAMENT

[v.4] You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach.

Jesus never promise health and wealth. False teacher say what folks want to hear and they offer a superior experience. They love to teach on the “deeper things.” Any time some one tells you that they have something better than Christ and the simple gospel, know that they are false. Isaiah said of Judah,They tell the prophets….”Don’t see any more visions. Don’t tell us what is right and wrong. Tell us pleasant things. Prophecy things we want to hear even if they are not true. Get out of our way! Don’t block our path and keep the Holy One of Israel away from us.” {Isaiah 30:10-11, NIrV}

Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23]

Paul said,  “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.” [Romans 8:17]

The battery is a good example of the balance required between good and bad, pleasant and upleasant experiences in life. When connected in a circuit, a battery can produce electricity. A battery has two ends — a positive terminal (cathode) and a negative terminal (anode). If you connect the two terminals with wire, a circuit is formed. Electrons will flow through the wire and a current of electricity is produced.

Power is produced by the battery because of the electrolyte, the center of the battery. The electrolyte is like a wall or a insulator and it keeps the electrons from the anode from going to the cathode. Electrons don’t like each other, they do not like to be crowded which means they are looking for a way out of this crowded environment. When you connect the the cathode [+] with a wire or circuit to the anode [-], you give the electrons a way out and they jump to the circuit [path]. When the electrons are released from the Positive terminal it opens the electrolyte so that electron flow through the battery and back again into the circuit. Here is the surprise: the current flows through the negative terminal.

Those who want to put sugar and spice on everything Christ taught do a great injustice. We learn from suffering. Watchman Nee, the Chinese theologian said, “We learn nothing apart from adversity.” There is glory in the Christian life but there is also suffering. I should not preach on suffering every time I get in the pulpit but I must not leave it out all together. It is a part of the Christian life.

The Joel Osteen and Reverend Ike stuff is a different Jesus. It is a Christianity without a Cross.

IV. FALSE TEACHERS ARE FULL OF THE SPIRIT BUT IT IS NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT

[v.4]... they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.


John instructed us… Dear friends, do not beleive every spirit. Test the spirits to see if they belong to God. Many false prophets have gone out into the world. [I John 4:1]

  • The spirit of disobedienceWherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. [Ephesians 2:2]

 

False teachers are directed by their self-will. They don’t take instructions from anyone. They have an unteachable spirit. They bear no marks of the fruits of the spirit…But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,  faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their sinful nature to his cross.


  • The spirit of the Anti-Christ…I John 4:2-3
    Every spirit that agrees that Jesus Christ came in a human body belongs to God. But every spirit that doesn’t agree with this does not belong to God. It is the spirit of the great enemy of Christ. You have heard that the enemy is coming. Even now he is already in the world.
  • There are all kinds of spirits: evil, unclean and many, many more. We have to learn to discern what is the Spirit of truth and what is the spirit the devil {untruth}. The Pharisees were full of the spirit, but it was the wrong spirit.

False prophets are full of the spirit but it is the wrong spirit

V. FALSE TEACHERS ARE FULL OF ARROGANCE: SUPERIORITY COMPLEX

[v.5-6] But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things. I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way.


False Teacher alway exult with pride and arrogance.

When Platte wrote his book RADICAL my son bought a copy for the deacons and handed them out. I took them up immediately. He said, “What are you doing.” I said, “Son the man is a calvinist.” He protested. I assured him that I would show him later which I did. When a man uses the graveyard illustration and makes light of evangelism: he is a calvinist. We have high ranking officials in the SBC who don’t seem to know what Platte is about but it was not hard for me to spot. Generally speaking, those of the Reform pursuasion are arrogant. They think they have a corner on knowledge. You can spot them from a mile away. Jesus never taught that we should be known for our pride and arrogance.

A condescending attitude is a dead give-a-way. Jesus taught us not to despise and look down on others. These false prophets who had won the affection of many of the Corinthians were condescending toward the Apostle Paul. This is hard for me to imagine. How could anyone look down on Paul even if he was tiny in statue. Paul was a spiritual giant compared to these want-a-be apostles.

Paul may not have been a great speaker but who could question his theology and his knowledge?

CONCLUSSION

Life is made up of decisions and choosing directions. We need to make well informed decisions and God’s word is an valuable asset. We must prayfully and carefully navigate the tricky waters of this world. Our future depends on the choices we make.

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