From the writings of F.B. Hole on 2 Corinthians 11
The works and ways of God are marked by simplicity. His simplicity is perfect. We can
not improve upon it. We may attempt to alter it, but then we only corrupt it. The Gospel
is the essence of simplicity. It sets Christ before us as the One who is the expression of
all that God has to say to us, as also He is the One who has wrought the necessary work of
redemption, and in whom we now stand before God. It brings us into complete subjection to
Him. But Satan is a master of craft and subtlety. Using these men who were the opponents
of Paul, he did not totally deny Christ whom Paul preached. Verse 4 is clear evidence of
this. If they could have come with another gospel, announcing another Jesus, and
conferring another spirit, there might have been something to say on their behalf,
especially if it could have been an improvement on what they had already received.
Instead of denying Christ they came under the pretense of adding something to Christ. A
fuller idea of their position may be gleaned from the epistle to the Galatians, where we
find them adding the law to Christ teaching that, though we may be justified by Him, we
are put under the law in order that holiness may be promoted. That Christ should be made
righteousness to us they were prepared to admit, but that He should also be made
sanctification seemed to them much too simple.
It is not otherwise today. The tendency to hanker after the elaborate, the abstruse,
the complicated, the far-fetched is always with us. The intellectual men of the world find
the Gospel far too simple, and they stumble at it. The trouble is however that
believers, whose strong point is their intellect, always have a tendency in the same
direction, unless they walk in the spirit of self-judgment as regards intellectualism.
If they do not maintain self-judgment, all their elaborations, their deep and abstruse
thoughts, only eventuate in something that corrupts from simplicity as to the Christ.
It is very important that we should remember that Satan so commonly transforms himself
into an angel of light, and his servants into servants of righteousness. That being so, we
must expect sin and error to frequently present themselves in a pleasing and delightful
guise. Again and again we find the advocates of error to be quite nice men. It is unsafe
to receive the message because the man who brings it appears so good, so charming, so
eloquent, so like an angel of light. The only safe test is, Does he bring the doctrine of
Christ, the true Gospel? If he does, receive it by all means, even if he is a bit uncouth,
a poor speaker, or of ugly appearance. "Prince Charming" is all too often a
servant of Satan in plain clothes.