In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, the apostle Paul wrote, “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. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him”.Just as the serpent seduced Eve through his craftiness, the minds of many professing Christians have today been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. False prophets and teachers are using trickery to seduce multitudes into receiving another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel in lieu of the Son of God, the Spirit of God, and the gospel of our Lord. Later, in this same chapter, Paul says, “But what I do, I will also continue do to, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (vs. 12-15 NKJV). We should not be surprised or caught off guard by false ministers transforming themselves to appear as ministers of righteousness. You will know them by their fruit! Though I do not claim to be an apostle or prophet or anything other than a child of God, like Paul, I hope to cut off any opportunity from ministers of Satan who are appearing as ministers of Christ in order to seduce and corrupt people from the simplicity that is in Him. In Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus says, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many”. Notice Jesus says many will come in HIS name, not some other name. Also note that those coming in His name say that He is the Christ. This is a major aspect of the subtle tactics employed by false prophets and teachers. They are proclaiming the name of Jesus, and saying He is Christ, but they are using partial truth and precepts of men to deceive many.
It will enhance your understanding to know the definition of the word that has been translated as “simplicity” in these verses from 2 Corinthians 11. It means “singleness, without self-seeking, sincerity”. It is not defined as “uncomplicated”, or “lacking difficulty”, as we relate to the word “simple” in modern English. Paul’s phrase, “the simplicity that is in Christ” refers to the singleness of Christ’s being. Christ Jesus is one with the Father, and His only purpose is to accomplish the Father’s will. Those who abide in Jesus, and have Him abiding in them, are partakers of His simplicity, or singleness. True Christians are one with the Father in motive, thought, and deed, and live only to accomplish His will. Individuals are corrupted from this singleness when they are seduced and led away to receive another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel. In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul wrote, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith” (NKJV). Anyone bringing a Jesus, a spirit, and a gospel that does not produce love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith is corrupting people from the singleness that is in Christ.
This other Jesus is one who supposedly saves people from God’s judgment but does not give them dominion over the power of sin. However, Romans 6:14 clearly says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: . . “. This other Jesus offers a ticket out of eternal fire without demanding total surrender to His Lordship. Yet, Jesus says,“And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”(Luke 6:46) and “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). This other Jesus does not take away sin but instead offers his help to improve the moral character of sinners. Yet, in 1 John 3, the apostle wrote, “Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin” (vs. 4-5). The true Jesus has come so that the sinner could be put to death, not improved, and a new man raised up– “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6). The gospel of the other Jesus denies the power of the cross to crucify the old man, and the power of the resurrection to regenerate a new creature who walks as Jesus walked and who is like Him in this world (Romans 6, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 2:6, 1 John 4:17). With this other gospel, there is no repentance because the supreme holiness and righteous judgment of God are not declared. Instead, God is portrayed as One who, because of His all-embracing kindness, will clear the guilty and, because of the cross, will no longer judge “believers” for sin. God proclaimed His Name to Moses in the 34th chapter of Exodus where we read, “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” (vs. 5-7). God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. He does forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin. But, He will by no means clear the guilty. God’s holiness and intolerance for sin must be declared in order for men to be convicted of their wicked condition and necessity to repent. Otherwise, conviction is never given place to do its God-intended work. Men can find no need for repentance when they are under the delusion that God will not judge their wickedness. Jesus took the penalty of sin upon Himself, but not in order for us to continue sinning– “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2). Those who continue in sin, continue to be guilty. The true gospel makes atonement for past sin, frees from the power of sin, and regenerates men into new creatures who are conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 3:25, 6:14, 8:29). God will not clear the guilty so, in His mercy and grace, He provided the way for us to be regenerated into beings who do not transgress His law (1 John 3:1-10). True Christians are guiltless because there is no law against the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is produced in their lives– “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
The other Jesus and his gospel are ministered by the spirit of anti-christ. The word “anti-christ” does not just indicate opposition to Jesus, but also, and even more so, a substitution for Him. This worldly, demonic spirit captivates the hearts of men by subtly seducing them into believing that God does not mean what He says. The spirit of anti-christ is now working the same deception used by the serpent to corrupt Eve. The other Jesus, the other spirit, and the other gospel proclaim that individuals will not die for transgressing God’s commandment– “And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die:'” (Genesis 3:4). They say it is not essential to obey, but only to believe that Jesus died for your sins, make a profession of faith, and invite Him into your heart. They offer a God who clears the guilty, and a Jesus who serves the desires of men rather than a Jesus who demands that men serve Him. The Lord says, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23-24).
Which Jesus is your Savior? Which Spirit have you received? Which gospel has captured your heart? Are you being led to destruction by a counterfeit? To be sure, if your heart has been captured by falsehood, you are unwilling to examine yourself with respect to these questions. You’ve been convinced that there is no need to ever question your salvation and right-standing with God. Yet, the Bible says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).