2 Peter 2:1 LEB But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you also, who will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, thus bringing on themselves swift destruction.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 BSB And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.
Some characteristics of false teachers:
B1 They believe, teach, and lead others into heresies. Heresies are those doctrines/teachings contrary to what was taught by the Lord Jesus, Apostles, or New Testament prophets (James, Jude, etc.). Heresies are doctrines not understand by the plain, normal reading of the Scriptures. See 2 Peter 2:1 (quoted above).
B2 Act and talk very holy. See 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (quoted above).
B3 Are gifted speakers. They can motivate, captivate, and awe the unsuspecting. Romans 16:18 LEB For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own stomach, and by smooth speech and flattery they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
B4 Tell lies to lead people to follow them (the false teachers): Acts 20:29-30 GW I know that fierce wolves will come to you after I leave, and they won’t spare the flock. 30 Some of your own men will come forward and say things that distort the truth. They will do this to lure disciples into following them.
B5 Like the Pharisees of Jesus’s day, these teachers appear righteous in public but in private, they are evil. They cover-up, conceal, and persecute any who exposes them: Matthew 23:27-28 ISV How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and every kind of impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
B6 They tell people things the people want to hear, instead of truth: Isaiah 30:10-11 AMPC Who [virtually] say to the seers [by their conduct], See not! and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us what is right! Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceitful illusions. 11 Get out of the true way, turn aside out of the path, cease holding up before us the Holy One of Israel.
B7 Making money off the faithful. Beware of those that have huge tables of their books and their friends books and urge, practically demand all to buy them. 2 Corinthians 2:17 NET For we are not like so many others, hucksters who peddle the word of God for profit, but we are speaking in Christ before God as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God.
B8 Instead of the truth of Scriptures, they turn to stories of their “experiences,” and lead many astray. 2 Peter 2:3 GNB In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!
B9 Some can do miracles.
C1 These miracles are not through the power of God but from the power of the devil.
C2 Popular, respected, authoritative, skilled, gifted, etc. and deadly:
D1 Revelation 19:20 AKJV And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
D2 Exodus 7:10-11 ESV So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts.
What is their motive?
B1 Their own self lusting for money, power, even sex.
B2 Dake under the note of “Solomon’s Request” on 1 Kings 3:9 writes: Too often men pray for gifts which they think will make them great in the eyes of others. They want to imitate some other great man and they aren’t called or qualified for that particular work. Their motive is selfish. Solomon, on the other hand, asked for wisdom and understanding in the science of government, to give true justice to Israel. One of the chief functions of the eastern monarch has always been to hear and decide causes. Hence, Solomon desired gifts that would best qualify him for his work and calling in life. (Note, as I’ve mentioned before Dake has some notes that are wrong, so be Bereans).
B3 Many false teachers desire to argue, quarrel, and acquire money. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 GNB Whoever teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the true words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching of our religion 4 is swollen with pride and knows nothing. He has an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words, and this brings on jealousy, disputes, insults, evil suspicions, 5 and constant arguments from people whose minds do not function and who no longer have the truth. They think that religion is a way to become rich.
How to Avoid
C1 The Correspondence Theory: words, thoughts, ideas, communication, etc. correspond with reality. There also has to be a standard which is eternal, that is, exists in the past, present, and future.
D1 The most famous version of this theory was given by Aristotle in 335 BC in his Metaphysics, Book IV, Chapter 7 To say of what is, that it is not– or of what is not, that it is– is false. While to say of what is, that it is– and of what is not, that it is not– is true. (Source)
D2 John 1:17 NASB For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (Note, I didn’t like the word “realized” at first but then started thinking that truth did not come into existence but has always existed. Humans are in darkness, ignorant, and deceived, so Jesus, God the Son, has revealed truth to us, thus realized). Compare Psalm 25:5.
D3 The opposite of truth is a lie. Common sense knows these things. Even though philosophy may question this view of truth, they cannot live their daily life without truth in its plain, normal sense.
C2 Read and study the Bible, the only source of 100% truth. Personally, it begins with did Jesus exist, what did he do and teach, and is what we read in the Bible most reasonable?
C3 Every believer has the Holy Spirit, who is able to teach us and give us understanding of the passage. Because God the Spirit is omniscient and omnisapient, He can communicate perfectly, which is one reason to take the Bible in its plain, normal sense. I John 2:27 AKJV But the anointing which you have received of him stays in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.
C4 The Lord Jesus, the Apostles, Moses, Noah, Sarah, King David, etc. took the Bible, the words of God, in its plain, normal sense.
B2 Know how to interpret the Bible. (Here is one resource) Pray before and after you study.
D1 What does the verse say?
D2 Understand the text in the plain, normal sense
D3 Context is important. Use at least the 20/20 rule—20 verses before and 20 verses after.
D1 What does the verse mean?
D2 It is not what we want it to mean, what we FEEL it means, or what does it mean to me.
D3 Do not interpret it through a theological, philosophical, or scientific belief.
D1 What do I need to know?
D2 What do I need to do?
D3 What do I need to change?
B3 The more we study; the more we know, and the less we will be fooled, tricked, deceived by false teachers.
B4 Knowing the truth, we must test teachers and what they teach. If a teacher fails the test of Scripture, then we are to avoid them: 2 John 1:9-11 LEB Everyone who goes too far and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in the teaching—this person has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not speak a greeting to him, 11 because the one who speaks a greeting to him shares in his evil deeds.
Safety for God watches over us
B1 Philippians 1:6 GW I’m convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.
B2 Jude 1:1 GW From Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father, and who are kept safe for Jesus Christ.
B3 Jude 1:24-25 AKJV Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
A Few Thoughts About False Teachers
Posted by Choco in 2019 at 12:22
Labels: Characteristics of false teachers, False teachers, Recognizing false teachers, Motives of false teachers