2Co 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.”
Paul continues to warn the Corinthians about false apostles coming among them. In verse twelve, he told them that these false apostles were attempting to make themselves appear even as Paul and his companions. They made their boast constantly before the Corinthians that they were on a par with Paul. It was their desire to make it appear that they had been sent by God.
Paul was not afraid to call things like they were. In this era of political correctness we live in, men would tell us we cannot call things evil or good. Everything is a matter of perspective. However, it is obvious that society has very little concern for God’s perspective.
Paul, speaking from the truth of Christ that was in him, identified these men as to what exactly they were before God. They were pretending to be preachers. They were teaching deceit and lies. They were disguising themselves to appear as though they were minsters of righteousness.
We are told not to see this as some surprising thing. Satan attempts to disguise himself as an angel of light, so it should not be surprising that those who minister lies should do the same. It is important to note here that this word translated as “transformed” is not the same word rendered “transformed” in Romans 12:2. In Romans Paul commands that we should be “transformed by the renewing” of our minds.
The definition of the word translated as “transformed” in Romans means literally to change or transfigure. In other words, the renewing of our minds with the word of God makes a real change. By God’s grace, we are no longer carnal minded but spiritually minded. We are given the mind of Christ.
Here in the above verses, the word translated as “transformed” does not mean to actually be changed. Instead, it means to apply a disguise. When we put on a disguise, the only thing that happens is a false alteration to the outward appearance. The heart and mind are unaffected by the disguise.
God gives His people the grace to see whether or not a true transformation has taken place with someone or if it is just a disguise. It may not be immediately apparent, but if we patiently wait upon the Lord, He will make it manifest. No matter how good a disguise is, sooner or later something about it slips. When that happens, we get a glimpse of what is really underneath.
May we always rely on God, knowing that true transformation ultimately glorifies God while a disguise will always reveal the works of man!