Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 15, 2020

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 11:12-15.

“But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”   2 Corinthians 11:12-15.

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One of the best ways to help someone detect what is false is by comparing and contrasting what is false with what is true.  There are some things that superficially look alike but there are important differences.

I heard that people who train retailers to spot fake money do so by comparing and contrasting fake money with true money.

For this reason, we also see the Book of Proverbs so often comparing and contrasting the wicked with the righteous.

Things hidden in darkness are not seen, and we are content with them, until the lights are turned on.

How often have I compared and contrasted other doctrine with Reformed Doctrine in these daily devotions!

In today’s Scripture, Paul wanted to show by his personal example what is righteous so that the Corinthians could more easily detect what was wicked, “… so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.”  Verse 12.

Why is this important?      

“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”  Matthew 24:11.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will know them by their fruits.”  Matthew 7:15-20.

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”  Verse 13.

Through God’s grace working in us, we bear good fruit, and the bad fruit is understood to be bad fruit in contrast.

Through God’s grace working in us, we “appear as lights in the world”, and the light exposes the deeds of darkness.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing;  so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”  Philippians 2:14-16.

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not be partakers with them;  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord;  walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;  for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”  Ephesians 5:6-13.


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