With so many things being counterfeited these days, like American goods being counterfeited in China, it can be hard to know the genuine article from the counterfeit.  I’ve enjoyed watches pretty much my whole life, learning to work on them from a child. My dad did watchmaking part time, and watching him take a broken watch and make it run again made me want to learn to do it too.  And before long I had a small collection of various watches.  Most of them were “cheapies”, as I was just a kid, but Dad worked on some pretty expensive ones, too.

One day someone brought him a Hamilton Railroad pocket watch to fix that had stopped working.  He took the back off when I was sitting there, and said, This watch is a counterfeit copy, it isn’t genuine.  That was my first exposure to “counterfeit”. It looked real from the outside, but on the inside it was just a cheap copy.  The case and dial said Hamilton, but inside it was what was called a “dollar watch”.  Someone had substituted a non-jeweled cheap movement for the expensive Railroad certified Hamilton movement.  The owner wasn’t too happy to learn that, because he had just recently bought it from a pawnshop, thinking it was the real deal.  And of course, the pawnshop wasn’t going to give his money back, either.  He got ripped off.

That’s what counterfeit ANYTHING does, it rips you off.  And the Chinese make lots of money making counterfeit copies of just about anything that is valuable.  Whether it be name-brand shoes, or clothing, or electronics, or jewelry, or watches, car parts, you name it, they’re making counterfeits.  And everyone that buys it suffers loss.  I’ve personally seen “Rolex” watches that looked like the genuine watch, weighed exactly the same, the second hand sweeps just like a Rolex, but when you look inside, it’s a cheap imitation of the real watch.

Once I was in a jeweler’s shop of a friend, when a man came in wanting to sell his Rolex Oyster Datejust.  He shared a story of an emergency and needed money real quick, and this was all he had that handy that he could sell.  My friend was going to buy it, but I was suspicious.  You see, Rolex cuts no corners anywhere in the production of their watches.  I smelled the watch.  Yes, I smelled it.  Rolex uses a stainless steel in their case that is unlike any other stainless steel in any other watch, and it has a distinctive smell that I could distinguish, comparing it to my own watch. I told my friend it was a counterfeit.  The customer got real offended, calling me a liar. So I told my friend, open the watch up and look inside.  My friend didn’t have a Rolex case wrench and so he couldn’t open it, much to the relief of the customer.  But I happened to have one out in my car, and brought it in.

The customer said he didn’t want to open it and break the seal, but I told my friend, if you’re going to buy this watch, you need to open it up and see what you’re getting.  Again, the customer protested, but I insisted on opening it, and told him I’d put a new gasket on it for him.  So I opened it.  Guess what?  It was a counterfeit Rolex.  I told my friend to call the police, and the customer quickly left the store AND the watch.  I adjusted the watch with a couple good smacks from a hammer I had in the trunk and destroyed it so nobody else would be duped.  Had I not been there, my jeweler friend would have paid hundreds or thousands for that counterfeit “Rolex”, and probably turned around and sold it to some unsuspecting customer down the line, who would have later come back and sued him for damages.

Counterfeit stuff causes a lot of suffering.  In the case of a counterfeit car part, it is made of inferior products, and can fail and cause injury or death to people, and loss of property.  We need to be diligent to make sure we’re getting the genuine article.

And there are counterfeit Christians as well.  They talk the walk, as I like to say it.  They talk “Christianise”, spout Bible verses, go to church, but inside, they’re full of the devil, not Jesus.  They can look just right on the outside, but as they say, “the proof is in the pudding”, they aren’t winning anyone to Jesus, their prayers have no power, and nobody gets healed.

The Bible tells us in Mark 16:15-18 that the Lord Jesus gave HIS genuine believers some instructions to follow:

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

 18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

            That’s how you tell the genuine from the counterfeit.  The counterfeits may go to church every time the doors are open, but they aren’t preaching the gospel to any creature, let alone EVERY creature.  And the signs of being baptized in the Holy spirit are clearly defined in verses 17 and 18.  If that’s not  in evidence, then they’re a counterfeit.  And there’s a lot of that going on.  You see, that’s why more people aren’t turning to the LORD.

When we read in Acts chapter 2, we see some awesome signs and wonders being done by those having the Holy Spirit.  Here, let’s have a look:

Acts 2

 1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

 2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

 3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

 4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 5  And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

 6  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 

 7  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

 8  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

 9  Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

 10  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

 11  Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

 12  And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

 13  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

 14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

 15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

 16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

 17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

 18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

 19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

 20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

 21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

 23  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

 24  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

 25  For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

 26  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

 27  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

 28  Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

 29  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 

 30  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

 31  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

 32  This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

 33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

 34  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

 35  Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

 36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

 38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

 41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

 44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

 45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

 46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 

 47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t see a lot of this going on in the churches today, so I’m led to believe there are more counterfeits than genuine Christians out there.  Religion doesn’t save anyone, but the devil sure likes to use religion to divide and separate the body of Christ.  So he sprinkles in plenty of counterfeit among the genuine to mess things up.  Kind of like baking a chocolate cake, and putting in a little dog poo.  As long as nobody knows, they’ll eat the cake.  But the one who watched the cake being made knows……and His name is the LORD.

I’m not seeing thousands of believers added to the congregation daily.  I’m not seeing lots of people getting healed.  I’m not seeing much outreach for evangelism, either.  So you tell me, is what you see going on in YOUR church what Jesus taught?  Or are you getting the counterfeit?  They both get results, only the counterfeit doesn’t get GOD RESULTS.  As for me, I want to genuine article.  How about YOU?