Beware of Satan's Counterfeits
The Devil uses every means available to bewitch and deceive people. He has imitated everything pertaining to God and has been quite effective at passing around the counterfeit as being the real thing. The degree of his effectiveness can be seen in that there are many people who believe anything and everything is OK in religion. If this is the case, why did Jesus warn that we could worship Him in vain (Matthew 15:9)? We need to watch out for the counterfeits of Satan. What are some of his counterfeits?
FALSE GODS. Idolatry is one of the oldest counterfeits that mankind has fell for. It constantly plagued the children of Israel throughout their history. Today, the devil has a very well disguised god: covetousness (Colossians 3:5). It is sometimes referred to as "the almighty dollar" and the unsatisfiable appetite for the things money can buy. We live in a society where a person is measured by the things he has. The qualities of "godliness with contentment" mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:6 are given nothing more than lip-service. Many people are worshiping the god of covetousness for Satan has counterfeited it to appear as a way of life.
FALSE TEACHERS. Where are the false teachers? They aren't any! People no longer respect God's Word enough to use it to prove the message preachers preach anymore. Everybody's got the right to their own belief and practice. With this attitude prevailing, false teachers are a thing of the past. Isaiah's day was much like today: "...Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophecy deceits:" (Isaiah 30:10). The truth in the matter is there are many false prophets! "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1). Satan has many ministers who preach almost all of the truth.
FALSE DOCTRINES. It only follows that if Satan has counterfeit preachers he would also have counterfeited the things they teach. Doctrine which is genuine is the doctrine of Christ. That is, it originated with Christ. This is the doctrine that we must "abide in" (3 John 9,10). There is not another gospel but there are gospels that are perverted (Galatians 1:6,7). These "gospels" sound a lot like the real thing; just like a counterfeit twenty dollar bill looks like the real thing. Yet, regardless of our honesty or sincerity, we are holding a worthless piece of paper in our hand. So it is in religious matters. Regardless of our sincerity, if we believe and practice a doctrine that originated with man, our religion and worship is vain. (Matthew 15:9). No matter how long we have practiced a certain belief or been recognized as a member of some religious organization, that does not make it right any more than the possibility that a counterfeit twenty dollar bill will become worth $20 if we continue to carry it around in our billfold or pocketbook.
WATCH OUT for Satan's counterfeits! They look and sound mighty convincing.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.