Written by A.W. Pink
The apostles of Satan are not saloon-keepers and white slave traffickers, but are for the most part ORDAINED MINISTERS!
The false prophets, whether of the papist or the Protestant order, make a great show of devotion and piety on the one hand, and of zeal and fervour on the other, as did the Pharisees of old with their fasting and praying and who “compassed sea and land to make one proselyte” (Matthew 23:15). They are diligent in seeking to discredit those truths they design to overthrow by branding them “legalistic doctrines” and denouncing as “Judaizers” those who are set for the defence of them. “With good words and fair speeches they deceive the heart of the simple” (Rom. 16:18). They speak much about “grace,” yet it is not that Divine grace which “reigns through righteousness” (Rom. 5:21), nor does it effectually teach men to deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts” (Titus 2:11, 12). With “cunning craftiness” they “lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14) souls who have never been established in the Truth and beguile with “enticing words” (Col. 2:4), making a great show of quoting Scripture and addressing their converts as “beloved brethren.”
Many of the false prophets of Protestantism have popularized themselves by granting their deluded followers the liberty of preaching. As any reader of ecclesiastical history knows, it has been a favorite device of false prophets in all ages to spread their errors through the efforts of their converts, flattering their conceits by speaking of their “gifts” and “talents”: by multiplying lay preachers they draw after them a host of disciples. Such incompetent novices are themselves ignorant of the very A B C of the Truth, yet in their egotism and presumption deem themselves qualified to explain the deepest mysteries of the Faith. A great deal safer, and more excusable, would it be to put an illiterate rustic into a dispensary to compound medicines out of drugs and spirits he understands not and then administer the same unto his fellows, than for young upstarts with no better endowment than self-confidence to intrude themselves into the sacred office of the ministry: the one would poison men’s bodies, but the other their souls.
“But 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” (2 Cor. 11:13, 14). In all opposition to the Truth there is an agent at work which it belongs to the office of the Spirit of Truth to discover and unmask. If “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6) be preached rather than the Gospel of Christ, IT IS THE FRUIT OF SATANIC ENERGY, the minds and wills of its promulgators being led captive by the Devil.
Satan is the arch-dissembler, being the prince of duplicity as well as of wickedness. When he had the awful effrontery to tempt the Lord Jesus he came with the Word of God on his lips saying, “It is written” (Matthew 4:6)! Though Satan’s kingdom be that of darkness, yet his craft is the mimicry of light, and thus it is that his agents work by deception. They claim to be the “apostles [or “missionaries”] of Christ,” but they have received no call or commission from Him. Nor should we marvel at their pretence when we remember the hold which the father of lies has over men.
“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” (2 Cor. 11:15). They are “deceitful workers,” for they pose as champions of the Truth and as being actuated by a deep love for souls. As sin does not present itself to us AS SIN nor as paying death for its wages, but rather as something pleasant and desirable, and as Satan never shows himself openly in his true colors, so his “ministers” put on the cloak of sanctity, pretending to be dead to the world and very self-sacrificing. They are crafty, specious, tricky, and hypocritical.
What urgent need, then, is there to be on our guard, that we be not imposed upon by every mealy-mouthed and “gracious” impostor who comes to us Bible in hand.
How we should heed that injunction, “Prove all things” (1 Thess. 5: 21). Certain it is, my reader, that any preacher who rejects Gods Law, who denies repentance to be a condition of salvation, who assures the giddy and godless that they are loved by God, who declares that saving faith is nothing more than an act of the will which every person has the power to perform, is a false prophet, and should be shunned as a deadly plague!
Taken from, “Sermon on the Mount.”
Written by, A.W. Pink