Colossians 2:18-19: "Let no one cheat 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 that is from God."
I don't know about you, but I don't like to be cheated. I do not like to be taken advantage of either. I certainly do not like to lose out because someone else cheated to win. There may be many things in this life that we have no control over in the area of cheating. But we can decide for ourselves how we will act. Cheating is not just an action for sports, for gambling, for test taking, or for taking advantage of another, it is also a spiritual charge. Paul is boldy encouraging the believers to not be sold short, to not be given false information that "cheats" you of your eternal reward. So many things in this world to entice us, lure us into loving the world and all its desires. If we are not aware we will be cheated out of our eternal reward by holding more closely to things in this world than the eternal things in the next.
In this case especially, these false teachers were selling the wrong way of living. In such a way, those who followed this were forsaking their temporary blessings as well as their future ones. What were they selling that cheats it? False humility, angel worship, and false revelations. False humility is pride masked. These teachers were talking about their humility and pointing it out so much that it actually is pride. True humility does not need to be said. False humility has to be proven and backed up. True humble spirits and actions are just done, naturally come forth and do not need explanation or recognition. False teachers and ministers and prophets are prone to this form of selling point to make hearers believe they are genuine, but they are not. Angel worship is strictly forbidden in the Scriptures. It became prevalent in the Colossae region for centuries to come. People are still fascinated with angels. Strangely, their fascination is borderline worship. Angels are God's messengers and workers. They are not to be worshipped. Jesus is higher than the angels and He alone is to be worshipped. False revelations and visions is how most false prophets and teachers gain their traction. They claim to have something new from God. Paul is quick to call them out for it. They haven't seen anything at all. They are making it up. It's all in their prideful mind to prop themselves up. We have the complete revelation of God twofold. First in Jesus Christ. He is the incarnation and fullness of God in fleshly form. Second in the word of God. God's complete revelation is before us already. There are no new visions and revelations to add to what is already been written and circulated for thousands of years.
The key to avoiding being cheated is to stay connected to Jesus Christ. Stay in tune with what the Bible says, what the Spirit affirms, and what the truth is. Worship Him alone. And finally know this, there is no spiritual growth for the body, which is the church of the redeemed, apart from union with the Head, Jesus Christ. Jesus won't cheat you. His leadership will always be right and never steer you wrong. Stay connected to Jesus.