“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.
The false prophets today are performing great signs and wonders to deceive even the elect. And you know what ? They are doing all these great signs and wonders in the name of Jesus ! Yet on that day of our Lord, He will not know them at all.
These false prophets do not come wearing a badge telling everyone they are false prophets. They will come masquerading as apostles of light. 2 Cor 11:13. Since Satan will come masquerading as an angel of light, it is not surprising that his servants will come masquerading as servants of righteousness. 2 Cor 11:14-15.
They will be among us preaching a false doctrine that sounds so pleasing to our ears. They will perform miracles in the name of Jesus and whip a frenzy in drawing the multitudes.
The Corinthian Church was being infiltrated this way during St Paul’s time. 2 Cor 11. The church readily accepted these false prophets as Super Apostles. 2 Cor 11:4-5. They were so eloquent in their delivery of messages. 2 Cor 11:6.
Though Paul was in no way inferior to these super apostles in signs and wonders, he rather boast in his weakness. That would be a tough act to emulate for the false prophets today who were there for the money, fame and power. 2 Cor 11:22-29.
Let us take a second close look at the characteristics of these false prophets being heralded as apostles of light in St Paul’s time and compare with the false teachers today:
1. They performed signs and wonders in the name of Jesus.
2. They preached a different Jesus and a different gospel which was easily accepted.
3. They were so eloquent or so sleek in their delivery of messages.
4. They were paid well for their ministry work. (So much so that St Paul felt short-changed as he was considered inferior for not being paid at all for his ministry work. 2 Cor 11:7).
5. They could not and would not boast in weakness like St Paul otherwise they would over-turn all their own messages of power and look silly.
I am not saying that God does not allow signs and wonders anymore today. He is sovereign and I believe He still does. But to chase after signs and wonders is another matter altogether and that will make us vulnerable to deception. It will be better to chase after His Word which is more sure. St Peter had the blessing of witnessing the transfiguration of our Lord Jesus and many other miracles, yet he proclaimed the Word of God to be MORE SURE or MORE RELIABLE. And it will do us well to pay attention to the Word of God. 2 Pet 1: 16-21.
IVP New Testament Commentary Series…..”…it is a reasonable conjecture that Paul’s rivals were Palestinian Jews who, claiming the backing of the Jerusalem church, came to Corinth carrying letters of reference and sporting an impressive array of credentials (such as visions, ecstatic experiences and revelations). They sought to sway their audience through polished delivery and powerful oratory. They combined this with an outward show of the Spirit, appealing to the prominent role of the miraculous in Jesus’ ministry. The intruders’ focus on the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, compelling rhetoric and Jesus the wonder worker may well be what Paul cryptically refers to as “another Jesus/Spirit/gospel.” If so, their approach is not much different from what we call “power evangelism” today.”