Soon after Paul established a new church in any town, other men followed him there. These men wanted to become the leaders of the new churches, and they seemed very impressive. They also seemed to have great knowledge, but in fact they were very dangerous. What they taught was seriously wrong. Also, they wanted to lead the churches for the wrong reasons: they wanted to become powerful, rich and important.
It was not easy for the new Christians to recognise that these men were dangerous. They spoke about the same subjects that Paul and the other genuine Christian leaders spoke about. These men who wanted to lead the churches often mentioned Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and the gospel (Godís message). In fact, they seemed to have knowledge about these subjects that Paul did not have. They considered Paulís messages too simple; they considered themselves to be much better teachers of Godís word, the Bible.
So, many Christians accepted these men and believed their messages. These men even taught publicly in the church at Corinth. However, what they were teaching was a lie from the devil*.
These men said that they were teaching the gospel. However, their gospel was so different from the true gospel that Paul could not even recognise it. It was clearly not a message from God*.
Similarly, Paul could not recognise what they were saying about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It was as if they had received another Jesus and another Spirit.
These men were popular because their message was attractive. It seemed easier to follow them than to follow Christ. The people thought that they had found a better way to live as Christians Ė but they had actually chosen the wrong way.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.