Grace Family Bible Church
Don't Be Beguiled
By: Scott Morton
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
The Apostle Paul, as he is writing to the saints in Colossae, is speaking about something that could happen to them. By extension, this is something that can even happen to us. Paul is speaking here about the possibility of being beguiled, as he is saying to not let any man beguile you. It is important for us to understand what is being meant here. The following is the definition of this word from Webster's 1828 Dictionary:
BEGUI'LE, v.t. begi'le. [be and guile.] To delude; to deceive; to impose on by artifice or craft.
The serpent beguiled me and I did eat Genesis 3.
1. To elude by craft.
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage.
2. To elude any thing disagreeable by amusement, or other means; to pass pleasingly; to amuse; as, to beguile the tedious day with sleep.
By seeing this used in Genesis 3 we get the ides of how this works. The issue is the trickery that is used to lead someone away from the truth. This is what has been spoken about throughout this chapter, as it is the goal of Satan, who is the prince of the power of the air and controls the things of this world. This is why there are so many warnings that the Apostle Paul has to give regarding this.
We see how Paul speaks about this issue and it relates to the issues of doctrine. This is where the truth lies, even though so many want to pull people away from these things. Paul gives an example of this as he writes to Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
The latter times being spoken of is as we go farther into this dispensation and has nothing to do with the end times according to prophecy. We know this because there is a distinction that is made between prophecy and mystery. So many individuals want to have prophecy being fulfilled today. An example is the number of people who are stating the vaccine that was developed for COVID is the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast is not something that is going on today, as that is part of prophecy.
2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
As we go on in this dispensation things are going to get worse and worse related to individuals following the doctrine that has been given to us by the Apostle Paul in his epistles for us today. This also does not mean that every doctrine that we disagree with is a doctrine of devil and the fiery dart of Satan spoken of in Ephesians 6. The reality is no two people are going to agree on everything written in the Bible. The true doctrines of devils are those that are pulling individuals away from the things that unify us, which are recorded in Ephesians 4:4-6.
The Apostle Paul saw these things happening in his day. He recorded for us information about those who were turning their back on what he is doing:
2 Timothy 1:15
This thou knowest, that all they that are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
Paul identifies here that all who are in Asia have turned away from him. This region was somewhere that Paul and those who worked with him spent a lot of time ministering to these individuals. This is seen all throughout the book of Acts and there are a number of local assemblies that the Apostle Paul established during his ministry there. By Paul making the statement he is making here we are clearly seeing that all of these local assemblies have turned their back on what Paul was teaching and have been tricked into following other things.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
This is another of the warnings that are being given by the Apostle Paul. The big issue of what these individuals are doing is turning away from the truth of the Word of God rightly divided and turning unto things that are going to entertain them. This usually comes in the form of a speaker who is very charismatic, who can tell a lot of stories and jokes, but rarely uses the Word of God. The individual who is sitting there listening to this feels good in the flesh because of the entertainment aspect of what they are hearing, but they are not feeding themselves spiritually and will allow themselves to be beguiled through this process.
The Apostle Paul gives the answer to how to avoid this beguilement. There are many warnings given, especially as we go through 2 Timothy, the last epistle written by him:
2 Timothy 1:13-14
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
The idea of hold fast means a person has a secure grip on it, as if their life depends on it. We are to be doing this with the doctrine that was given to us. The information written in Romans through Philemon contains the guidance and doctrine that we need in order to function properly. This is the doctrine that we are to use to make sure we are functioning in a manner that is pleasing unto God.
2 Timothy 2:2
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
This is the responsibility we have as members of the Body of Christ. We are to take this doctrine and teach it to the next generation so they can stand grounded in the truth. This will allow them to be able to keep teaching this doctrine and to not be pulled away from the beguilement that can occur.
This is a big part of the local assembly, especially those that have been established for many years. The local assembly is supposed to be raising up elders to keep the ministry going. There is a failure when long-standing assemblies have to look for someone to come in to keep the ministry going. It means the people who are there have not been grounded enough for them to be able to take over.
Paul is giving these warnings knowing there is going to be struggles. He wants there to be the continued teaching of the doctrine so the local assembly will be able to continue grounded in the truth. This allows the assembly to be able to spot the beguilement coming and will not be pulled away from the soundness of the Word.
2 Timothy 2:3-4
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
These verses show how the Apostle Paul knew it was going to be difficult for the members of the Body of Christ. It is not promised to us that this life is going to be easy. We are going to be enduring hardness, which includes the issues that pull individuals away from the doctrine. All of us have the responsibility to be able to endure the things that occur in order to be able to stand. It is not just the responsibility of the leadership of the local assembly, even though they have a big role in this.
2 Timothy 3:14
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Here the statement is individuals need to make sure they are continuing in the things that have been learned. This is where the grounding in the doctrine comes in, as it is much harder to be pulled off track when there is a solid foundation of doctrine. When an individual learns sound doctrine they are assured of the truth because it is the Word of God working in them (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
When the Apostle Paul speaks of him praying for the saints, we see a very particular prayer that shows how Paul prayed:
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
The Apostle Paul prays for them to grow in the knowledge of the Word. This is the very first thing that is mentioned in this prayer. Paul knows this is the starting point for any believer. If the Word is going to work in someone like it should, there is going to have to be a growth in the understanding. The Word is the only offensive weapon that is given to us as part of the armor of God in Ephesians 6. This is why we cannot be beguiled away from the truth of what it says.
As Paul continues on speaking about this, he speaks of the voluntary humility that would come about in this beguilement. This comes about as someone is trying to put themselves under the law system that was given to Israel. There is a lot of information written about the law and the performance based system that Israel was under. We can see how this is not part of this dispensation. The individuals in Galatia were trying to put themselves under this system. We see how Paul speaks to them about this:
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
These two passages show what the problem was for the saints in Galatia. They had been taught that the law was no longer in place and that they were not to be functioning under it. Instead of following the clear teaching of what Paul had given to them, they tried to go under a system that could not produce righteousness. They were trying to use their own righteousness, which is filthy rags in the sight of God. By doing this, they were walking contrary to what Paul had already clearly taught them:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Here we see that righteousness does not come from the law. We have the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is in us and should be living through us as we are trying to do the things that are going to be pleasing unto God.
We can be tricked, but we cannot be forced to do anything. This is why Satan functions in the manner he does during this dispensation:
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
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.
This goes contrary to how the world sees Satan today. He is often presented as a monster with red skin, horns, a tail, and carrying a pitchfork. This representation of Satan is thought to try to convince people to do all sorts of bad things that are contrary to sound doctrine. Satan is said to be control of all of the evil in the world only and the way he can win is to get people to do that. The other main way Satan is presented is that he is some sort of bumbling, comedic sidekick. Because of this presentation, he would be seen as someone to not really take seriously, as he cannot really have an influence on things.
This is not what the Bible says. Satan presents himself as someone who has righteousness and that he can show someone how to get it. This is going to be done through the Word and is going to misapply passages and fail to rightly divide the Word of truth. As this is being done, things are taught which are not going to bring someone closer to the image of God and they will become less effective. This is what Satan wants, as he does not want the gospel to be going out today.
The next thing the Apostle Paul brings up is the worshipping of angels. This can be seen in some manner by the way people represent the angelic realm. We can see paintings, sculptures, and other representations that do not match what the Word states. An example is the representation of a cherub as a chubby little baby with wings, compared to how they are described in Ezekiel 1. These presentations which some from the mind of the artist reflect the issue of a desire for the angelic realm and the issue of worshipping them.
We can see how Israel had a relationship with the angelic realm, as they served a function for them:
But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Here the angels are referred to as ministering spirits. This means they had a ministry unto the nation. We will see as we look at the example of this how this would not apply to the Body of Christ. The ministering is related to the earthly promises for Israel, as compared with the spiritual blessings in heavenly places that are promised to us today in this dispensation.
And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
This passage shows an example of the ministry. The apostles were actually delivered from the physical affliction they were enduring, which was being in prison. The angel came down and took care of their physical need. There is no promise for the Body of Christ of being delivered from things in this manner.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Here we se another part of the ministering which went on during Israel's program. They received the Word of God from the angelic realm, communicating with them what they needed to know. This is something that would not happen today, as we have the completed Word of God and rely on what this says.
2 Chronicles 18:17-18
And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?  Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.
This passage shows how it was possible for something to be done during Israel's program related to the angelic realm and the heavens. Because they were a people who needed the signs to believe God, they were given the ability to be able to see into the heavens at times. They were able to see the angelic beings as they were ministering unto them and as proof of what God was doing at the time.
All of these things do not apply to us today in this dispensation. The information which we have was hidden from the previous dispensations (Colossians 1:25-26). We do not rely on the things of sight and rely specifically on things given to us in the Word of God, which influences the faith we have. We have the Holy Ghost communicating with us in order to be able to understand what the Word of God says (1 Corinthians 2:11-13). We do not need the angelic realm influencing us and should not be worshipping the angelic beings. This is where we end up being vainly puffed up in our own mind.
Paul continues and talks about not holding the head. The head of the Body is the Lord Jesus Christ. This means there were some who did not understand how the Body actually functions.
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
This is one of many places where we see Jesus Christ being identified as being the Head. Here we see how the responsibility of the believer is to grow in Him in all things. Specifically here there is the issue of the members supplying the needs for the other members of the Body.
When we are not holding the Head as we should, this is going to negatively influence all of the members of the Body. We would not be able to comfort and edify each other as we should (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The issue of edification is important and we see how Paul brings this up. Our actions can influence this (1 Corinthians 10:23), as well as the words that we speak:
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
When we are speaking with others, we really need to be watching what we do say. The things that we say should actually edify other individuals and not tear them down. This can be problematic, as many people will say things that they feel are funny or just to try to get a reaction out of someone. We really need to be edifying each other, as this is what the Lord Jesus Christ intends and it reflects Him living out of us.
There were some things that did edify in the past, even in the beginning of this dispensation:
1 Corinthians 14:2-5
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.  I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
These two passages are both dealing with the issue of gifts. At one time, early in this dispensation, the gifts were still present. These gifts did provide edification at that time, which leads to confusion today. Individuals think they still can have these gifts and try to use them in the same manner and say they are edifying. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks about how tongues would cease when that which is perfect is come, which is the completed Word of God. These signs are not here today.
The gifts that are listed in Ephesians 4 are a struggle for many who rightly divide. There is a tendency to try to divide this list and say some of these are still in effect and some are not. Paul makes it clear when he talks about individuals desiring a good work in Ephesians 3 and tells Timothy to do the work of an evangelist in 2 Timothy 4. We have come to the unity of the faith, which is mentioned earlier in the same chapter of the book of Ephesians.
None of these gifts are actually in place, which if they were, the responsibility of edifying would not fall on the individual. It is up to each one of us to edifying the other members of the Body, doing what the Lord Jesus Christ intends for us to do. By putting it as a gift we would be taking away from what it is that we truly are supposed to do.
As Paul concludes this discussion, he speaks about how those who are doing the things that he has warned about here are not holding the Head. By doing this, it results in all of the problems that he lists out. When Paul is speaking about the Head, he is speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is whom we are supposed to be following:
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
As Paul was writing to those in Galatia, which was one of the first epistles he wrote, he identifies how the gospel he has came directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. Some would teach that Paul came up with all of these things on his own, as they realize what he is saying runs contrary to many of the other things in the Bible. Rather than understanding, we must rightly divide the Word of truth and understand the context of what is being written, they would rather throw out the things that they do not like. This causes a number of problems for those who would attempt to follow what is written, as they are then trying to put themselves under a program that was never intended for them. Instead, they should be realizing the Apostle Paul has the message for today and this is where we should be focusing our attention.
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:6
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
It is always easier to do things when we have an example of how it is that it should be done. Multiple times in his epistles, Paul identifies we should be followers of him. This is because he was following the Lord Jesus Christ in what is supposed to be done today. It is only through what Paul wrote that we have an understanding of what is to be done during the dispensation of grace. Paul is the one who has given us the information about why certain things that we can see in the Bible ceased to be. The problem so many have is they do not want to follow the pattern which has been given unto us and do not want to hold the Head, as Paul has instructed us to do. They often want to follow the traditions of men or want to follow the things that are pleasing unto the flesh.
1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
We have the mind of Christ as a present possession today. It might not seem like it to some people, but Paul identifies this as a reality. We have the mind of Christ because we have a completed Word of God. This is a present possession for us. We need to know how to be able to fully access this. We do this through our study of the Word, with the Spirit communicating the information to our spirit.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
The Apostle Paul was chosen to be the Apostle of the Gentiles, as he mentions several times throughout his epistles. The purpose is for him to be a pattern for us (through his doctrine). We are given the information which had been kept secret (Romans 16:25-26) and now we are to go out and minister the gospel to others (Romans 15:15-16). This fulfills what is God's will (1 Timothy 2:4) and is the full demonstration of us holding the Head.