Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Deceit; Apostasy / 2 Corinthians 11:1–4

 The story has been told of a woman who had acquired wealth and social prominence and decided to have a book written about her genealogy. The well-known author she engaged for the assignment discovered that one of her grandfathers was a murderer who had been electrocuted in Sing Sing. When he said this would have to be included in the book, the woman pleaded that he find a way of saying it that would hide the truth.

When the book appeared, the incident read as follows: “One of her grandfathers occupied the chair of applied electricity in one of America’s best-known institutions. He was very much attached to his position and literally died in the harness.”3161

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 100.

Have you ever been duped? You thought that you fully understood what you were getting into only to find that you did not have all the information, or that the information was misrepresented to you?

It has been said that “The Devil is in the details”. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that “deception is in the details.”

In our passage this morning we read Pastor Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth. He draws an allegory between the Church at Corinth and a virgin espoused to her husband. She is promised to him and is to remain pure. He is afraid that like Eve was deceived by the serpent, even so the church could be led away from her purity and defiled before becoming married to Christ. The impurity was not sinful action, but wrong doctrine.

Today, many Christians are vulnerable to this kind of deception. They hear words like Christ, Spirit and Gospel and assume that folks using these terms are teaching the same things that they were taught while in fact are being deceived. Satan is still at work. If he is not successful in seduction, he is very effective when he weaves his web of deception. This morning we are going to learn of the ways and dangers of Satan, the Sneaky Snake.

Pure Doctrine is Under Attack.

2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Corruption Begins in the Mind.

The serpent enticed her by his cunning (panourgia, “trickery”

2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Corruption Continues When it is Tolerated.

2 Corinthians 11:4 KJV
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Deceivers Look Like Preachers.

2 Corinthians 11:13–15 KJV
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Corruption Happens When You Move From Singular Truth

Your thoughts will be led astray: the verb led astray has a root meaning of “ruin,” “corrupt,” or “spoil.” In some languages a word such as “spoil” rather than “lead astray” may tie in better with the following words sincere and pure. As the next verse indicates, the implicit agent of the verb be led astray is “someone who preaches a different gospel from the one that Paul preaches1

1 Roger L. Omanson and John Ellington, A Handbook on Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1993), 193.

Beware of Another Jesus.

King James Version Chapter 11
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached,

Proverbs 4:27 KJV
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil.

• A Jesus who hates sinners as well as sin.

John 1:14 KJV
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 8:4–11 KJV
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

• A Jesus who would not be seen with sinners.

Luke 7:34 KJV
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

• A Jesus who does not call out and expose legalism and religious pride.

Luke 12:1 KJV
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

• A Jesus who does not seek and save that which is lost.

Luke 19:10 KJV
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Beware of Another Spirit.

King James Version Chapter 11
or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received

Acts 1:5–8 KJV
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

• Another spirit working confusion not conversion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

• A spirit causing fear or control.

Romans 8:15 KJV
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Beware of Another Gospel.

King James Version Chapter 11
or another gospel, which ye have not accepted,

Galatians 1:6–9 KJV
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

• Grace not Works for Salvation.

Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 11:6 KJV
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

• Grace not Works for Favor with God.

Romans 5:2 KJV
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

1 John 4:16–19 KJV
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

We love him, because he first loved us.

In 1982, seven residents of the Greater Chicago area made an assumption that proved fatal. They all took a dose of Extra Strength Tylenol® that had been laced with potassium cyanide. What they thought was medicine proved to be poison. This crime, still being investigated as of this very week (February 2009), is still unsolved, in spite of the fact that one man went to prison for sending an extortion letter to Johnson & Johnson and is presumed to be the guilty party by many.

Imagine the horror of taking what you thought was beneficial and discovering, too late, that it was killing you!

Satan is subtil! Just because someone uses a King James Bible, or uses the same terms we use does not mean he is teaching the same thing. Jesus will always be a friend of sinners. He will always rebuke self righteous legalists. The Holy Spirit will always empower believers for soul winning without distracting them with a cacophony of chaos. The Gospel will always be by grace through faith. There will never be any work rite or ritual that we can perform in order to merit God’s love. If you start to believe differently, perhaps you are being influenced by the sneaky snake.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:49 PM September 10, 2020.

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