One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 16 - False Teachers
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2 Peter 2:1-2)

The devil has counterfeited everything God has made. God established His church-the devil has his churches. God calls men to preach the gospel. The devil uses men to preach his gospel. God uses TRUTH-the devil uses ERROR.

There are Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. Who is right? How can you know?

There is one absolute authority. God’s Word. The only source of truth in the universe is God’s Word. It is true! If you want to know what’s right to believe, go to God’s Word. When in training, the U.S. Secret Service agents study genuine dollar bills so they can easily spot a counterfeit. To know how to spot a false doctrine or teacher we have to go to God’s Word. We do not study false religions, but God’s Word.

Have you recently been saved? Get ready. They will be by. You will see them at work, school, or even at your house. The devil’s network will be at work to get you sidetracked.

But you say, is it really that important to believe and possess the truth? Yes! Entire nations are starving to death today because they have believed error. In India, cows are allowed to eat the grain in the fields. The people will not kill them for food, nor the cats who spread disease, for fear of killing an ancestor.

CHARACTERISTICS OF FALSE TEACHERS

Privily Bring In Damnable Heresies

2 Peter 2:1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

False teachers do not boldly declare their false teaching. They slip it in. They want to find common ground you agree on then slip in their heresies.

Covetous

2 Peter 2:3, 14, “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:”

Many false teachers are after money. Look at leaders in some of these movements. Find out about their excesses and luxuries. Many live in million dollar homes and drive lavish automobiles. A man of God is not to live above the means of the average person in his church.

Immoral

2 Peter 2:10, 14, “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:”

Critical Of Godly Teachers

2 Peter 2:10, “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”

False teachers try to gain credibility by criticizing godly leaders.

Ignorant Of God’s Word

2 Peter 2:12, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;”

They appear to be teachers, but have no true understanding of God’s Word. They may know a chapter or a section, but are not well-versed with the Bible in its entirety.

Very Deceitful

2 Peter 2:13, 18, “And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”

False teachers are smooth talkers who make it easy to swallow their error. They say some truth but poison it by interpreting error.

Thrive On The Weak

2 Peter 2:14, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:”

“Unstable” souls are people who have not been established in the truth of God’s Word. New Christians and unlearned Christians are the prey of false teachers and cults.

Make Big Promises

2 Peter 2:19, “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”

False teachers paint a mystical fairy-tale type Christianity.

AREAS IN WHICH THEY DECEIVE

Not all of these points will apply to all false teachers. But even if only one does, that is enough danger to warn us.

1. The Bible

The authority of the Bible is questioned. Is it true? Is it literal or is it symbolic? Is the Old Testament for us? Some false teachers add their leader’s or founder’s words to the Bible as “inspired.” One group says that their leader’s words override the Bible if there is a discrepancy.

2. The Resurrection

This is an essential doctrine to Christianity. Flee anyone who does not believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ. Liberal movements have tried to explain away all miracles.

3. Virgin Birth

This also is an essential doctrine of Christianity. The scripture is very clear about Jesus’ virgin birth.

4. Hell

Many false cults are teaching there is no hell. That takes out the urgency to be saved or share the gospel. They explain it away by calling it the “grave” or say it’s symbolism. One evangelist said it is no more than separation from God. They tell us that hell is just a parable. But they are wrong!

5. Works For Salvation

Most false teaching tries to add works to salvation. It’s root problem is pride. They want to feel they have a part in salvation.

Some false teachers say you must be a member of their denomination, get baptized, speak in tongues, hold out unto the end, etc. They are wrong! It is still Jesus plus nothing and minus nothing! (See Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5.)

6. Feelings—Not God’s Word

In Scripture the word “feel” is never used in relation to salvation. Doctrines in scripture are fact if we “feel” it or not. Feelings are not what makes us saved or keeps us saved. Some churches major on feeling and emotionalism.

Praise and prayer are emphasized more than preaching and sharing the Gospel. It is just another sidetrack of the devil to take more people to hell.

7. Healing—Not Salvation

Jesus did heal people, but He came to “seek and to save that which was lost.” Because of His compassion, He healed. That was not the main thrust though. Not one apostle had a “ministry” of healing. They were sent to PREACH, even though God did use them to heal.

Healing crusades are unscriptural. Compare Jesus with modern day “faith healers” and you will find a world of deference: Jesus never took an offering while healing. He healed everyone. He never blamed the person for not having enough faith if they were not healed.

8. Money

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

A Christian is commanded to tithe to the storehouse (real church.) It is not Scriptural to send tithes to radio or television preachers. Ask the radio or television preachers for a report of how the donation money is spent and see if they reply. Many guarantee you wealth, happiness, and healing if you send your money. If God is in their ministry, let Him supply their need. Put your money in your local church so you can see it in action.

9. One Doctrine

Truth Out of Balance Equals Error

False teachers teach on doctrine and do not give you the balance. They emphasize praise or worship or tongues or healing. Why not prayer and soulwinning?

10. “Extra” Truth

Some false teachers are shallow in God’s Word. They must come up with visions, dreams, or scriptures they write to fill their needs and life-styles. They call it “extra revelation.” There are neither new doctrines nor extra revelations. The writing of the Bible is finished!

False teachers speak of God telling them to do this or that. God does not speak to a false teacher! Some even call their churches “full” gospel. These extra truths often go in tangents in their “ministries,” such as demons, UFOs, the tribulation, visions, or “seeing” Jesus.

Notice what God said in Revelation 22:19, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

WHAT TO DO WITH FALSE TEACHERS

Beware Of Them

Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Keep your guard up! Watch Out For Them

2 Timothy 4:3-5, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

Test Them

1 John 4:1-3, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

Test what they are saying and if they are living by the Word of God. This is not judging. It is testing. Listen to what Jesus said about false teachers: “by their fruit ye shall know them.” Are they taking the scriptures out of the context in which they were written? Are they giving solid Bible teaching, or opinion?

Avoid Them

Mark 13:22, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”

Do not associate with them. Do not listen to their teaching by tape, radio or television. Do not purchase or read their materials.

Do Not Receive Them Into Your Home

2 John 1:10-11, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

Kindly close the door and tell them you have the truth and are not interested in their error. You may give them your testimony briefly, but do not invite them into your home to witness to them. They are well-versed and trained in their few scriptures of error. You probably will not win them to Christ in that brief time at the door.

Rebuke Them

Titus 1:10, 13, 16, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (See also Acts 8:20-23)

Withdraw From Them

1 Timothy 6:5, “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

Do Not Yoke Up In Marriage, Business, Or Friendship With Them.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

HOW TO NOT BECOME A FALSE TEACHER

John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Acts 18:24, “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.”

Believe the TRUTH! Live the TRUTH! Some people are false teachers by their lies. Others are false teachers by their lives. Realize that your life teaches as well as your words. Become a serious student of the Word of God. What you believe directly affects how you live.

DO NOT ALLOW ERROR TO SIDE TRACK YOU!

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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