Colossians 2:18

“Let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase which is from God.” Colossians 2:18-19.

To recap, chapter 2 refutes four heresies that were beginning to defile the church at Colosse.

These heresies are as follows, the error of men’s worldly philosophy, Colossians 2:1-10, Jewish legalism, verses 11-17, mystical teachings such as worship of angels, verses 18-19, and asceticism, verses 20-23.

We will concern ourselves with the mystical teachings taken up in Colossians 2:18 in this post and verse 19 will be covered in the next one.

Heresy actually robs Christians of their reward in heaven because they become derailed from the goal of the body of Christ which is as follows.

“…make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:19-20a.

Teaching them all things that Jesus has commanded you means that mature Christians are to teach new Christians Scripture and set them on firm ground so they can speak intelligently of Jesus Christ to all that He brings into their ministry or sphere of friends and acquaintances.

When Christians faithfully carry out the tasks that God has set before them they will receive a reward. If they turn aside to foolish pursuits, they lose rewards.

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.

God’s word tells us that not one of us is useless, whether famous, healthy, old, bedridden, impoverished, or in prison; we have a task set out for us before time began.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

If you are indeed a Christian, do not mock God by assuming that this verse does not apply to you. If you do not know what God has given you to do. Ask Him.

When you ask and then study your Bible, the answer will come to you; maybe now or in time, but He will answer if you are serious about listening.

People who will defraud you come in all shapes and sizes. The Jewish legalist tells you that you have to eat or drink certain things, or keep a festival, new moon, or sabbaths.

But we are told in Colossians 2:17 that these rites are but “…a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

The meaning is that the festivals, new moons, and so on, were in some manner or other, pictures of Christ.

The Passover for instance pictured the sacrifice of Christ as the Passover Lamb, John 1:29 and 1 Peter 1:17-21.

The festival of Pentecost was fulfilled with the beginning of the church, Acts 2.

The Feast of Trumpets, while partially fulfilled, has a future fulfillment with the ingathering of the Israelites to their land after the rapture of the church out of the world.

There are others but you get the point; it is not necessary for the Christian to keep these Jewish traditions because they have already, or are being literally fulfilled.

There is no lack of heretics who will defraud you of your reward, and load you down with their own onerous rules and regulations. There are those who.

“…delight in false humility and worship of angels” Colossians 2:18.

Consider that carefully, false humility.

False humility is a hard thing to spot because folks often look at the outward appearance to see humility.

Far eastern religions have many of these folks walking around in long robes with their heads bowed, and people think, oh, how humble. Yet inwardly the robed one is consumed with thoughts of how humble they are compared to these others who ask their advice and give them money. But their heart is not changed.

People may look at someone who is washing the feet of others and think, how humble, I could never do that.

While the person doing the washing is thinking, I am so humble I am doing the same thing as Jesus did at the Last Supper. But their heart is not changed.

Yet humility comes from the heart and the realization that one is no better than the next person.

“Whatever may your virtues be, oh cultivate humility; be unobtrusive, meek, retired; seek to be useful, not admired.” author unknown.

“… [let no one defraud through] worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind…” Colossians 2:18b.

All idols and false religions are empowered by fallen angels, demons, which is why we are warned to stay clear of the occult.

“They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons [being in the form of a goat, or a satyr], after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.” Leviticus 17:7.

In this next verse God calls Israel by the name Jeshurun, which means “upright one”; God loves Israel and used this term to show that they were still precious to Him.

Yet, He addresses Israel’s problem by telling them that after they had been blessed by God on every side, they became rich and complacent and forsook Him for other gods. This is a pattern that occurs over and over in Israel, in England, and now America.

“But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; you grew fat, you grew thick, you are covered with fat; then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear. Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.” Deuteronomy 32:15b-18.

“They served their [the Gentiles] idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and played the harlot by their own deeds.” Psalm 106:36-39.

“But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.” 1 Corinthians 10:20.

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…” 1 Timothy 4:1.

“But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these [tribulation] plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Revelation 9:20-21.

There are those today who would like to meet and talk to angels. I have a problem with this.

Speaking of false apostles who had come into the church the Apostle Paul made this interesting statement.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

There is no guarantee that an angel speaking to someone is one of God’s messengers, the Apostle John does give the following test.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3.

This is an exacting test; do not let them tell you anything else like; “Well, yes the Christ consciousness did indeed enter the world to save us all.” That was not the question was it?

These people, whether angels or false teachers are slick and their answers will be slick and somewhat reasonable, but the question is, has “Jesus Christ come in the flesh”?

Anything but the complete gospel of Jesus Christ is unacceptable, you have God’s authority to send them on their way no matter how impressive their credentials are.

There are stories of a person being physically shoved out of the way of an oncoming bus, a child being hidden and comforted by someone during a murderous rampage, and bullets being deflected along with numerous other incidents.

But I do not believe that it is common for an angel to show himself and converse with an individual.

That angels can and do protect us there is no doubt, but normally we do not recognize it; except in some cases.

There was a missionary family deep in the jungle, and for some reason the natives decided that they did not want Christ preached in their village, so they became quite hostile toward them.

Soon the family became aware that the natives were going to attack and massacre them.

Then one night when they were locked in their home they could hear noises in the jungle surrounding their house. They waited and prayed the entire night and nothing happened.

The following day the chief and some of his men visited them and admitted to the family that they intended to kill them all, but, he said, they were afraid to go near the home because it was surrounded by tall fearsome warriors.

The missionaries were left alone after that.

The word angel means messenger, what message can an angel bring to you that you will not find while reading your Bible and listening to the Holy Spirit within you?

Some folks point to the verse in Hebrews 13:2 as proof that angels will talk with you, but let us read it and see what you think.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2.

So, there you have it, in the Bible, a stranger just might be an angel, and some people have entertained angels.

But let us not forget one word, “unwittingly”. Suggesting that they never knew who it was; the emphasis in this verse is not to entertain angels. The emphasis is to entertain strangers.

If you read the first few verses in Hebrews 13 you will see that they are a series of ways to show Christian love.

When entertaining strangers, please use common sense at all times. Ladies if someone makes you uneasy, or you have a gut feeling about them, go with it.

God is not going to be offended because you disobeyed Him by not inviting someone into your home or to lunch with you. In fact it is likely that it was God who gave you the uneasy feeling to begin with.

Ladies, you can be polite, but you do not need to put yourselves at risk, nor should you be made to feel guilty because you did not help.

God will have someone else who is more capable of dealing with such people.

Men, women, we live in a dangerous world, do not put your families at risk by inviting some homeless person into your home.

You can give them food, clothe them, and send them to the nearest shelter. Some churches have food banks and donated clothes to give out, support your church ministry as much as possible too.

Donate to Christian missions in your city, and if you feel led to, volunteer to work in them; cook, wash, cleanup, feed, befriend and tell them of Christ. But do not put yourself at peril when you are defenseless at home.

And do not forget that there are many lonely people familiar to you in your church. Sit down, talk to them, buy them lunch, concern yourself with them, do what you can to help, and above all, listen to them.

Do not give your advice unless asked, or if they are headed toward danger. These are the only angels one need concern themselves with in this world.

Finally, an opinion, there have been many instances of people who were visited by angels, even by Jesus Himself; as a result many have died in their sins.

A man who embraced Swedenborgianism, a cult that denies the trinity, calls the blood atonement of Christ “an abomination” and a “mere human invention”, told me the following story.

One of the members of this cult had picked up a hitchhiker who claimed to be Jesus.

Unsurprisingly after a pleasant conversation Jesus disappeared. The driver did not quit the cult after talking with Jesus who would have given him the true way of salvation.

The hitchhiker was a demon calling himself Jesus nothing more.

In 610 A.D. an ascetic named Ubu’l-Kassim (later known as Muhammad), who would at times manifest symptoms of demonic possession went out to meditate in a cave.

Muhammad had been six months in meditation in a cave at the foot of Mount Hira when he was confronted by a person identifying himself as the angel Gabriel.

The angel grabbed him by the throat and as he choked him into submission, told him to, “Proclaim in the name of the Lord who created man from a clot of blood.”

Over a period of twenty-two years the 78,000 words and 114 chapters were given to Muhammad, who being illiterate, dictated them to another to write down.

The real angel Gabriel said of himself when he stood before Zacharias and announced that he would have a son who became known as John the Baptist:

“And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.’” Luke 1:19.

Gabriel stands in the presence of God, it is unlikely that he would grab someone by the throat and give them words that deny Christ and demand that the Jews be extinguished.

Joseph Smith received his book of Mormon from an angel named Moroni who claimed to be the son of a man named Mormon. The angel told Smith of a book of golden plates which gave “the fullness of the everlasting gospel”.

Four years later the angel led him to the plates which were written in what he called “reformed Egyptian”, a non-existent language.

With these plates was a large pair of spectacles known as “Urim and Thummim” which he used to translate the plates. After the translation was finished the plates were returned to the angel Moroni who took them away, presumably to heaven.

Mormonism gains most of its notoriety from the doctrine of polygamy but this is not the biggest problem.

Men are seen as gods in the making who will, one day populate other worlds through multiple wives. Being a good Mormon is what does this, not the sacrifice of Christ for sin.

This is of course is only the tip of the Mormon iceberg. And all of it because of an angel named Moroni.

I would rather, never see Christ or an angel on this earth than risk meeting some foul fallen angel who may even have been a part of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Why would anyone want to see a demon try to imitate the pure loving smile of Jesus?

No, we will see Jesus as He is when He comes for us at the rapture and hear the rejoicing of the holy angels when we are gathered together to Him.

Colossians 2:18 taken from posted on 1-22-14, updated on 3-30-20.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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