Such men are ·not true apostles [false apostles; pseudo-apostles] but are ·workers who lie [deceitful workers]. ·They change themselves to look like […disguising themselves as; …masquerading as] apostles of Christ.
Does this mean that I do not love you? God knows it doesn’t, but I am determined to maintain this boast, so as to cut the ground from under the feet of those who profess to be God’s messengers on the same terms as I am. God’s messengers? They are counterfeits of the real thing, dishonest practitioners, “God’s messengers” only by their own appointment. Nor do their tactics surprise me when I consider how Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is only to be expected that his agents shall have the appearance of ministers of righteousness—but they will get their deserts one day.
And I’m not changing my position on this. I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing “preachers,” vaunting themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch—pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers—posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.
but I will continue doing what I am doing to cut off any opportunity—clearly some are looking for one—for these false emissaries, these low-down, untrustworthy preachers, these posers who act as emissaries of the Anointed, to claim that they work under the same terms that we do.
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