A man sees an email from me telling him to go to the store and buy a gift card and to reply to the email with the number from the gift card. The man calls me and tells me he can’t get the gift card right now because of an appointment. I tell him, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Then, I get another text from someone else asking if I still needed the gift card. “No, I never asked for a gift card.” Next, people start asking me about invoices that I have emailed them, but I have emailed no invoices or asked anyone for money. The problem: someone has been sending emails pretending to be me and asking people for various forms of money. But the messages are not from me – they are from an imposter.
The Bible warns us about spiritual imposters as well. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Over and over, the Bible warns us about who we trust in spiritual matters. Jesus said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
The sad truth is that many people who claim to be representatives of God’s Kingdom,and teach his truth, are deceivers, serving God’s enemy. This is why we are told, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Those emails were not actually from my email address, the sender simply attached my name to his email signature. The same is true for religious teachers. They may claim to proclaim God’s word, but it may not be true.