We recognize the violation of identity theft, right? Of course. It's horrible. A person deceivingly using your name and information for his criminal agenda? It's evil. We immediately contact the law for assistance and justice.

Simon, in Acts 8:9-24, duped many souls into believing his magic arts made him "the Great Power of God." He was an identity thief. And he recognized the authenticity of power in the Apostles. The genuine source. Obeyed the gospel, yet foolishly thought he could purchase the ability to transfer the Spirit's outpouring. And for what? Personal gain.

Now imagine how Jesus righteously discerns when all these denominations and self-identified "Christians" claim to be His. These TV "evangelists" and their mumbo jumbo. The sensational charismatics charming the naive with their pestilence. An old Roman in white robes claiming to be the "Vicar of Christ, infallible." Nothing but identity thieves. Enemies of the cross. Fugazy. Pretending to be someone they are not for dishonest gain. Doing so by stealing the name of Christ and wrongly dividing His Book. Whether they do so, ignorantly or highhanded. The error remains active.

And so, what can we do? What defense do we have against such a spiritual threat? Have you ever seen a bank teller insert your Benjamin through a counterfeit detector?

Saints, we must test the spirits (1 Jn. 4:1). Know them by their fruits (Mt. 7:16). Listen to the words they speak and size them up with what the Bible says. Therein the identity fraud's agenda will be revealed, exposed. And prayerfully, brought into repentance.