2 Corinthians 11:1-4 ESV
“I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”
Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church which consisted of all those of genuine faith in Jesus Christ in the city of Corinth. Today we could direct this to people of faith in Jesus Christ in one specific location, which could be a whole nation, like the USA. But I believe the Lord wants me to more specifically direct this toward Christians who are part of the institutional church in America which is in partnership with the government via the 501c3 not-for-profit corporation status, which is being marketed to the world.
Now, true believers in Jesus Christ do exist within these institutional churches, as well as there are many false professers of faith in Christ, and many who make no profession of faith in Jesus at all who gather together as “the church.” But the message is for those of genuine faith in Christ who are joining in with these market-driven institutional churches, and because their loyalties are now divided between the institutional church and Christ Jesus, and between the institutional church and the true body of Christ.
So, when Paul said that he betrothed the Christians to one husband, namely Christ, to present them as a pure virgin to Christ, he was speaking of how he shared the gospel of Christ with them so that they would believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. And when we believe in Jesus we do enter into a covenant relationship with him which is not unlike the Jewish marriage covenant (or contract) which we read about in the Scriptures. It is a covenant of marriage to Christ, but it is also more like an engagement.
For, the Jewish wedding talked about in the Scriptures didn’t happen first. First there was an agreement (a covenant, a contract) of marriage usually brought about through an agreement between two families or between the husband-to-be and the bride-to-be and her family. And then the groom would go and prepare a place for his bride, and then he would come back and get her to take her to be with him, and that is when their marriage was consummated and not until then.
So, our faith in Jesus Christ is a covenant relationship with our Lord, which is an agreement of marriage between us and the Lord, but that marriage won’t be consummated until Jesus returns to take us to be with him for eternity, which is when our salvation will be complete. So right now we are more like in an engagement period until Jesus comes to take us to be with him, which is when we have the wedding banquet and when our salvation is complete. But we are married to Christ, so we are to be faithful to our husband.
But Paul was concerned for the Christians, that although they had entered into that covenant of marriage agreement with Christ, that their thoughts were now being led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ to basically follow after “other lovers.” And these “other lovers” were a false gospel and a false Christ which were being taught by false teachers. And they were putting up with this easily enough rather than testing these teachers and what they were teaching and rather than rejecting the lies.
And this is happening in America today among those who believe in Jesus Christ, in particular in relation to the divided loyalties being spoken of already. For these market-driven institutional churches are a creation of man, not of God, and they are following man-made teachings and marketing schemes for how to build their “churches,” and so they have also altered the whole biblical concept of what church is, and they have also altered the character of Christ/God and the truth of his gospel.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15,19-20 ESV
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
“For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.”
Thus, those who are pastors of churches and evangelists and writers of Christian books and literature who are teaching the people an altered and false gospel, and who are leading them to follow an altered and false God/Christ, are false teachers, deceitful workmen who disguise themselves as apostles (or preachers or teachers or evangelists) of Christ and his word. For they are truly servants of Satan who disguises himself as an angel of light. So we need to be testing everyone against the Scriptures (in context). For many false teachings come from Scriptures taught out of context.
So, what is it that they are teaching that is a problem? The teachings do vary from “church to church,” but the predominant false teaching permeating these institutional churches today (not meaning every gathering of the church) is that one can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus, have their sins forgiven, and be on their way to heaven, but that it doesn’t have to alter their lifestyles. For they teach no repentance and no obedience to the Lord Jesus are required of them for salvation and for eternal life with God.
And so many of them continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against God while claiming Jesus as their Savior and heaven as their eternal destiny. Even though many of them know what the Scriptures teach, they have adopted this “cheap grace” (not true grace) gospel which gives them permission to keep living in sin without repentance and minus walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus and to his commands (New Covenant).
But the New Testament Scriptures do not teach what these false teachers are teaching. They teach that faith in Jesus Christ requires that we die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, in his power and strength. They teach that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. And they teach that if we don’t obey our Lord and his commands, and if we continue in deliberate sin against our Lord, that we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what faith in Christ we profess with our lips.
So, read the Scriptures. Read the New Testament from beginning to end, and then read it again and again. And take note of what the Scriptures are teaching in context, and then compare Scripture with Scripture when they are speaking on the same subject, for they need to agree with each other. And I recommend you reading the following Scriptures, as well, which are teaching the truth of the gospel and not the lies.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
The Spirit Calling
An Original Work / November 12, 2019
Hear the Spirit calling.
He’ll keep you from falling.
Tenderly He’s calling,
“Come and follow Him.”
Walk with Jesus daily.
Don’t give in to lazy.
Folks may call you crazy.
Fellowship with Him.
Follow where He leads you.
Eat what Jesus feeds you.
His love will renew you
If you follow Him.
Do what Jesus tells you.
Don’t let your faith fail you.
His love will avail you
If you walk with Him.
Jesus, Lord and Savior,
Reigneth now forever.
He gave us His favor
So we’d live with Him.
Turning now from our sin,
Holy Spirit live-in.
Holiness we walk in,
Purified by Him.