Grace Family Bible Church
Don't Be Beguiled
By: Scott Morton
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.  For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
The Apostle Paul is speaking here to these saints about what would be coming for them. He is warning them to not be beguiled. Here is the definition of this word:
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 Gen 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.
We see that this is related to deception, which is a major part of the way Satan and the fallen angelic realm function. Individuals have a view of Satan that does not match with what the Bible actually says. Paul gives us the reality of how Satan is functioning during this dispensation and in previous dispensations as well:
2 Corinthians 11:3
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.
Paul takes things back to what happened in Genesis 3. We see in this chapter a discussion that happens between Satan and Eve. The conversation starts with asking the question Hath God said? The battle is always focused on what the Word of God is and trying to get individuals to go contrary to what God has instructed. The unfortunate thing for most people is this is not too hard, as they have not been studying the Word of God for themselves. They do not have the doctrine built up within themselves to be able to withstand an attack based on what the Word says.
Paul describes the attack as coming through enticing words, meaning they are going to be words that will easily convince the person that what Satan is saying is right. This is why Paul continues in 2 Corinthians 11 to speak on this subject:
2 Corinthians 11:4
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Individuals are going to come preaching things that are contrary to the message that is given by the Apostle Paul. We see the blatant issues with this all the time from those who are in denominational settings who are following the things of the denomination created by man over the things that are laid out in the Word of God rightly divided. The problem comes in when it is the subtle things. This is where someone had the understanding of the basics of the doctrine and is able to teach these things. This makes it look like you are in agreement and are able to fully function together. Then the problems start to come out related to the disagreements.
This is where the bearing with them comes in. This means I am going to be supportive of the individual in a manner to which I can help them to correct the errors that are going on. It is always a delicate thing to do this, as the individual needs to make sure they are grounded in the doctrine as this is going on. If they are not grounded, they can be pulled into the error and would end up being beguiled by the person they are trying to help get out of this.
Many people just want to cut this off immediately and have nothing to do with the person who is caught up in the error. If this happens, how is the person going to be able to recover himself or herself from it. God wants everyone to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4), which means they have to be taught and helped to get back on the right path related to the doctrine. While there may come a time where this does become necessary (Titus 3:9-10), the issue does become that the person should always be welcomed back if they come back to the truth.
The doctrine is always the focus, which is why this is where the attack is today. This is why Paul continues to speak on whom is ultimately responsible for the errors in teaching which are going on:
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.
Satan is leading this charge to get people away from the doctrine. This happens through the enticing words and the appearance of the person as being the minister of righteousness. While they have this appearance, it is not the case. They are leading people farther and farther away from the truth of what has been given to us during this dispensation.
For these words to be enticing, they have to sound good. This means that the person often will have a smooth way of talking and people will be drawn to the way the person preaches. It will often use stories, jokes, or other things that will attract people to what is being said. This does not mean that a person who is speaking well should be automatically avoided. It does mean this is the first step in the process.
The next step, which is the most important, is to compare what is being said with what the Word of God actually says. The things that are preached should always line up with the information that has been given to us for this dispensation (Romans through Philemon). If it does, then we know this is something that we should be following. If it does not, then we should be avoiding the things that are being said. Most of the time the people who are using the enticing words are not preaching things that are going to line up with the doctrine. This is the trap of the enticing words.
One of the main things to be done with the enticing words is to get people to focus on the things that the Lord Jesus Christ taught during Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They will focus on the red letters, which would put someone under the law. This is not what was ever intended for us. We see what the Apostle Paul states about the law:
1 Timothy 1:3-10
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:  From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
This passage shows how there is nothing good for an individual when they focus on all of these things which he has listed. Paul spends most of the time on the law, as this is what had been given to Israel under the covenants and actually lines up with things in the Bible. He does not focus on the other things for very long because they are not from God and does not need to deal with them in the same manner.
The law is not part of who we are, as we were never under the covenants (Ephesians 2:11-12). We are seen as righteous because of what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Paul identifies individuals have been made free from the law (Romans 6) and redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). Since this has nothing to do with us, we are not to be spending our time teaching it and trying to put someone under the law for them to be walking right or to maintain their salvation. While these things sound enticing, they do not line up with anything that has been given to us. We know we have been sealed with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) and have been given instructions about how we should lives our lives (Ephesians 2:10). This all comes from our doctrine and we do not have to go to someone else's information to find out what we need to do.
There are other things that the Apostle Paul warns us about that would take us away from the doctrine given to us:
1 Timothy 6:20
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
The first of these in this passage identified is profane and vain babblings. This is speech that is against God, empty, and has no value. This is much of what we see in the world system today, which is opposed to God. This is where Satan would have people focused on and have them talking about these things. The reality of getting people focused on these things is that it pulls people away from talking about the Word of God and the things that would save the lost or edify those who have been saved.
The second group is identified as science falsely so called. We are having many discussions about science, as individuals hold this up above everything else. Some look at science as being completely bad. If there was no science, there would not be things such as the MRI machine, a computer, or various medications that are used to treat diseases.
The problem many have is they do not understand what science actually is. Science involves coming up with something that a person believes is true and then being able to test this out to determine if it is. Once it is found to be true or not, the results can then be verified by someone repeating this process in order to be able to receive the same results. This is a very simple definition of what science is.
The things that are listed above fall into that category. Other things are labeled as science that would not fall into this. Evolution is one of them. The things that people state about evolution that they feel to be true cannot be tested or verified. This means it is not really science, but is the philosophy of someone that was made up by a man. These are the things that Paul tells us we are to avoid.
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.
The desire to hear something new all the time can create problems as well. This will lead people away from sound doctrine to end up following things that do not line up with the Bible. Eventually it would lead to them just wanting to hear fables, stories being told by man to feel good and maybe give them some guidance. These things do not give the truth for someone to be edified, which leads to them being pulled away from the truth and not being able to stand for what has been given to us.
This is a serious problem that faces the Body of Christ. Paul saw this happening during his life. There were a number of local assemblies and individuals who had ministered with him that turned away from the truth of the message that had been committed unto Paul. While there may have been various reasons and ways this had occurred, it ended up with each one of them being pulled away from the truth of the Word of God.
Paul speaks about what causes a lot of this deception in individuals:
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 Apostle Paul describes the issue as giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. These are the things that he has warned individuals about through his epistles. He knows the trap of these things and has to warn individuals to be prepared and to not give into these things. Some of the ways he speaks about being prepared are:
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
These two passages are just a sample of what it means to prepare. Our study of the Word of God is what builds us up so we are not tossed around in this manner. We will be able to identify what is the truth and what is not. This will allow us to see what are the vain (empty) words which individuals can speak to us (Ephesians 5:6) which would pull us away from the truth and send us down a path which would not be pleasing unto God.
Paul speaks about how he is with them, even though he is not there physically with them. He can say this because he has given them the doctrine and the pattern for them to be following. The instruction given is we are to follow him as he followed the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). This happens when we are able to apply the doctrine in our lives and live in the manner that has been given to us. The issue of the doctrine can be seen when Paul holds up the example of the assembly in Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
This shows the viewpoint of these saints of the Word of God. They were taking the things that were being said by the Apostle Paul and were considering them the Word of God. This is something many individuals today do not do, as they reject the things that were spoken by Paul.
These instructions that are contained in his epistles are how Paul is with us and communicating with us to explain what it is that we should be doing during this dispensation. As part of this, we see how Paul lays out the purpose that he saw in his ministry:
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Paul saw that it was given unto him to preach this message to all men. There were no restrictions that were given to him on who he was to be going to. This message is what he refers to as the fellowship of the mystery and the unreachable riches of Christ. These two terms define what was given to him and also to us. This information had been hid until it was given to the Apostle Paul and now he is responsible to make sure this message is going out to the entire world.
We can see this fellowship when we are around those who understand this message. We may have never seen them before, but we can feel the connection with them because we have the unity of the faith related to the message that has been given to us during this dispensation.
Paul speaks about how this message needs to keep going out:
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 message is to be preached and committed to those who will continue to preach the message. This is how we know that the message for this dispensation will continue. It is only when we see these things going on that we know this message is going to be preached for the next generation. We know there will be a time when this message will not be preached, as Paul warns us of that later in 2 Timothy. The responsibility we have as believers is to keep giving this to the next generation so that we can make sure we are not the last ones staying true to it.
There is a mention of the fact that the saints in Colossae have an order about them. They have been able to take the things of the Word of God and understand there are some standards that God would have us to follow. This is why they are being held up in this manner:
1 Corinthians 14:40
Let all things be done decently and in order.
Even though this is speaking specifically about the manner in which they were to do the sign gifts, there is a principle that should be followed. The doctrine had been given to us in Romans through Philemon, which gives some instructions on how we are to walk. This is where the order comes from.
There is also a rejoicing that the saints are to have, which the saints here had as well. Paul can point to this fact:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
There is a rejoicing which is to be associated with the hope we have. We know that we will be reigning with Him in the heavenly places for all of eternity. We also know we will be receiving a glorified body that will be able to exist in the heavenly places and will last for eternity. This is something that should cause individuals to have some rejoicing.
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
There should be a rejoicing as this message is being preached. The rejoicing is over the fact that individuals are able to receive the salvation message that is for today. There also would be the saved individuals receiving the things that would help them to grow in the knowledge of the truth. Both of these things reflect what the will of God is (1 Timothy 2:4), which can only occur when the Word is being preached, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some of the problems that we see today are caused by the fact that individuals are doing everything they can to not preach the Lord Jesus Christ. When they get together with other believers, there is a focus on social things or just on the music. While both of these do have their place, the focus is to be on the preaching of the Word, as this is the power of God unto salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18) and is the first part of the last exhortation given by the Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:2).
The Apostle Paul lists out some other things he rejoiced in later in the same epistle to the saints at Philippi:
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
Here Paul is speaking about how he was able to rejoice because he knew he had not labored in vain related to the message. He has been able to see the result this has had on the individuals he has preached this to.
There are two other things which tie together related to rejoicing:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
1 Thessalonians 5:16
These verses show how this joy is supposed to be a part of the life of the believer. We are to always be rejoicing in the position we have. This is not always easy to do, as there is a tendency to focus on the circumstances around us, which means we focus on the bad things going on in our life. Paul states we are to be rejoicing no matter what, which means we are to be relying on where our focus is, which is in the heavenly places, as this will allow us to be able to rejoice.
Paul also speaks about the steadfastness of their faith. This is a reference to the fact that they are strong in the faith and not wavering in their convictions. Steadfast means an individual is not wavering, which is unfortunately what many individuals do related to the faith they have. As a result of being strong in the faith, this is something that others can see and hold up as an example for themselves and others.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Here the Apostle Paul is speaking about these saints in Rome he had never met at the point he is writing the epistle. These individuals had the gospel preached to them and had become faithful to the message for this dispensation. He had heard about these individuals demonstrating their faith and is holding them up as an example for others on how they should be seen.
We can see what the Bible says about faith in the book of Hebrews:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Faith is the only way an individual can be pleasing unto God. It is the Word of God which is going to produce this faith (Romans 10:17), which means we need to have an understanding of this in order to be pleasing. It is our responsibility to study the Word and come to the proper understanding of what the Word says in order to be seen in this manner.
The conclusion of this passage that we will be focusing on is how Paul states we are to walk as we have received this message. We know we have received it from the Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 4:1) and that the message is focused on our salvation by grace through faith. This is how we are supposed to walk today. The problem is so many people want to walk in a manner that would be contrary to this. They will focus on things of the law program and say this is how we are to live. They can see how the Lord Jesus Christ answered the question related to salvation:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
The Lord Jesus Christ has someone come to Him and ask how to be saved. He is going to give a direct answer to this question. Some are saying He gave an answer based on what He knew the young man wanted to hear or that he was displaying sarcasm as He was answering this question. This would not be the case with a question as serious as how someone would be saved. This is a question that always deserves a direct answer and it is recorded as such. During the time of His earthly ministry they were still under the law program and needed to walk accordingly in order to have salvation. This did not change during the gospel accounts. It will also be in place for Israel during the Ages to Come as we can see by looking at James 2, where James speaks about faith without works is dead. They will need to perform the good works in order to obtain and maintain their salvation. There is no question of what was going on with them.
This is in direct contrast with what is spoken of for the members of the Body of Christ today. We receive salvation by putting our trust in the gospel message for today (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and there is nothing else that can be done (Ephesians 2:8-9). The law was taken care of at the cross (Galatians 3:13) and the glorious things which Paul can speak about related to us are true. The book of Romans is filled with things speaking about the position we have, which influences how we are supposed to live our life:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
In this text, we see how Paul is speaking of the things that were accomplished for us by the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. We have a justification that occurs without the deeds of the law. There are no works associated with how we have received Him, which is something which only individuals in this dispensation are able to say. This is what is going to have the impact on how we live our life.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Paul continues to identify our position here. He clearly identifies how the believer has received righteousness without works. This is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is a true blessing we have and we should understand the liberty which this gives us and how this position is what is to be the influence as the Lord Jesus Christ is living through us (Galatians 2:20).
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
These verses show how the law has no influence on us, which means there is no sin that can be put on our account. Many do not understand this and try to put someone under some form of a performance system. This is why Paul has to speak about the position that we have, which influences who we are. He is speaking about the liberty that we have, which is something Peter nor any of the other writers in Scripture were able to speak of.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
In this passage the Apostle Paul speaks about what teaches us to know what are the things we should be doing and the things we should not be doing. It is the grace of God that teaches us these things. This is how we are to walk, which is why Paul speaks of us walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and how there is no condemnation to us because of this (Romans 8:1, 4).
Lastly, there are some questions which come up about what happens when someone s doing the wrong things. Paul brings this up in his first epistle to the assembly at Corinth:
1 Corinthians 6:9-12
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
It is lawful to do anything because there is no law to prevent him from doing them. However, they are not all expedient because the things can have a negative impact on others. This is why they also do not edify. This idea also applies to us, as we are to be following Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1).