Matthew 7:15 NIV
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
2 Peter 2:1 NIV
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves
Acts 20:29-30 NIV
29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
1 John 4:1 NIV
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The title of this lesson is a warning for all of us who are believers and children of God.
There are many who will try to deceive us with false teaching.
They are crafty, silver tongued, persuasive and persistent. They are in fact tools of Satan, and we must be on guard at all times.
Jesus called them wolves disguised in sheep's clothing.
WHY THE WARNING?
Jesus and the disciples warned us of false teachers, because the children of God have a target on their back that Satan is constantly aiming at.
Jesus warned “Watch out for false prophets”, and Peter, Luke Paul and John gave warnings as well.
If Satan can deceive God’s children with false teaching and doctrine, he has accomplished the objective of getting them off track and headed in the wrong direction. Away from the teachings of Jesus.
Just as Satan told Eve that God didn’t mean what he said about the penalty of eating the forbidden fruit, he tries the same tactic with believers concerning God’s Word. Satan will try his best to deceive believers about the Word of God and destroy or alter the truth.
As Christ and the disciples warned us, Satan uses false teachers to accomplish his goals.
These false teachers convey enough truth in their teaching to be believable, or in other words to “set the hook.” They will come “in sheep’s clothing” in order to gain one’s trust. Unfortunately, this includes pastors, evangelists, teachers and lay people whom Satan has found to be very useful.
We must always be on guard.
WHAT DOES SATAN ACCOMPLISH THROUGH HIS FALSE TEACHERS?
- He wants to pull believers away from Christ and His teaching
- He wants a believer’s faith to weaken
- He wants to create doubt in the believer’s mind
- He wants to convince believers that God doesn’t mean what He says
- He wants to cause believers to be less effective in their witness through words, actions and deeds
A FEW EXAMPLES OF FALSE TEACHING TODAY
What are some examples of false teaching and doctrine today? Here, in my view, are just a few:
- The teaching or doctrine giving assurance that once you are saved, you are always saved regardless of your commitment and obedience to the teachings of Jesus.
- The teaching or doctrine of “Positive Confession” which teaches that if a believer speaks "faith filled" words, they can have what they say, therefore avoiding anything negative in their life.
- The teaching or doctrine of the “Prosperity Gospel” which teaches that God always rewards the faithful believer with material wealth and physical well-being.
- The teaching that there is no hell.
- The teaching or doctrine of Universalism which teaches that all people go to heaven to be with God, therefore making the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ irrelevant.
- The teaching or doctrine of Calvinism which teaches that only those selected by God, or "the elect" can be saved.
- The teaching or doctrine of White Christian Nationalism which teaches white supremacy along with "divine" sanction for authoritarian control and militarism. Further, the teaching that violence and even murder are acceptable actions for Christians (can’t believe I even have to name this one). Supporting those who believe in this movement, without actually participating, is supporting a dangerous and false teaching.
- Any teaching that promotes or requires a certain political affiliation.
- We should beware of any teaching on “the end of time” and how it will transpire. NO ONE knows the day or the hour, except God the Father. (Matthew 24:36)
In addition, there are mainstream denominations that I feel are based on false doctrine and teaching, but that will be a lesson for another day.
Christ our Lord has given us the warning.
What I am saying goes for me also. Study to show yourself approved and make sure that what I write is Biblically sound according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Naturally, there can be doctrinal disagreements and different scripture interpretations, but what I teach and write must always be in agreement with the birth, death and resurrection of Christ and correspond with His teachings. If it doesn’t then you should let me know and look elsewhere.
How do we avoid being misled by false teachers?
We must keep ourselves grounded in the truth by studying God’s Word, praying for guidance and instruction. We must also stay firmly committed and obedient to our beliefs.
By studying God’s Word, we are able to determine if what we are being taught is scriptural and of God. It is our duty and responsibility to make sure that it is.
2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
Satan would love to deceive us with his very convincing words and cause us to err. We must not let him, by staying grounded in God's Word and the truth.
Know what the Bible says and what you believe, then stand firm and steadfast in your convictions.