Tag: false teachers
Scripture reading for February 1st: Exodus 31-34, Matthew 25
Key Scriptures: Matthew 24:3-5 “As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in My Name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.””
Jesus answered the disciples questions concerning His earlier comments about the destruction of the Temple. He prefaced the answer with a warning about deception. Deception would mark the time prior to His return again for His people. This deception would even take in some of God’s people. We can look back in history to see that God’s people were deceived with a golden calf!
Exodus 32:7-8 “And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!””
Prayer: Lord, deliver me from deception and the lure of false ‘gods’. Thank you for your loving warnings in Your Word. Amen
Scripture reading for February 21st: Deuteronomy 12-15
Key Scriptures: Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord God you must follow, . . “
Moses warned the Israelites about false prophets. These might even come with signs and wonders. If they tried to lead the people to worship other god, they were to avoid them and take action to rid the community of these wicked prophets. God would test His people and their love for Him through these so-called prophets who tempted them.
Thankful for testing: We can rejoice in testing when we love God with all our hearts! “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
Scripture reading for November 30th: Jude
Jude was a half-brother to Jesus Christ and the brother of James. His short letter mirrors some of the same issues that Peter dealt with in his second letter: false teachers and apostasy. His letter speaks to the church of today.
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 3-4)
The main issue that Jude felt compelled to address was the infiltration of false teachers into the church. These men were slipping in and teaching destructive doctrines. They believed in a cheap grace that taught that believers could keep on living in sin and Jesus would forgive them. In doing so, they were denying the true work of Jesus Christ to do away with sin and deliver the sinner from its power. This cheap grace is also in the church today! It is a false doctrine that divides the church and is devoid of the Holy Spirit. (vs. 19)
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” (Jude 20-22) The best defense is a good offense of actively doing God’s will!
Scripture reading for November 17th: 2nd Peter 2
After complacency and failure to grow in grace, a second danger Peter was concerned about was false teachers. The devil has always tried to steal the believer’s faith and move them away from the simplicity of faith in Christ Jesus and grace.
“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. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2nd Peter 2:1-3)
Peter warned the Church about the false teachers introducing destructive “heresies”. A heresy is a teaching that is designed to split the body of Christ. It is a teaching that denies the Lord Jesus as the only way of salvation or provides an alternative to faith in Christ’s blood and body to atone for sins. They make up doctrine and stories that contradict the Word of God. This insures the destruction of the false teachers and those who follow them! Peter warned that many would follow their shameful ways and would bring the cause of Christ into disrepute! How true this was and is today!
God is not sleeping or winking at these sins in His Bride, the Church! He will come at an hour when they don’t expect and bring swift destruction on them! Oh Church, wake up!
Scripture reading for December 19th: 1st John 1-5
John, the Apostle, wrote this letter to the church to counter some false teachers called “gnostics” who were saying that Jesus was just a ‘spirit’. These false teachers were telling church people that it did not matter what one did with his body because our spirit was all that mattered. But Jesus Christ did come in a human body lived in obedience to the Father. He taught us to live by grace through faith. When we break God’s law with our bodies, that is sin and we must confess and repent. (1st John 1:8-9) If we say we have no sin, we are living in deception, just like the false teachers.
We do not live in a dual world where we can separate the actions of our spirits and bodies. This popular teaching was drawing away a number of Christ’s followers. The problem was that it was taking them to Hell! John called the false teachers “antichrist”. (1st John 2:16)
The church evidently knew about “the Antichrist” that was to come in the last days. This person would be a world ruler who would deceive many with false signs and wonders. (2nd Thessalonians 2:8-11) Paul described him as the “man of lawlessness”. John further stated that many “antichrists” had already gone out into the world at the time of his writing. These false teachers had come from within the church. They left the church and drew a following of people who were deceived by their lies and loose living.
“Antichrist” is a term that literally means “one set over against Christ”. In our language today we would likely use “counterfeit” to describe them. They used scripture to justify their doctrines. They often used the name of Jesus Christ but lived in rebellion to what Jesus actually taught and stood for. They were legalistic and manipulative and lacked the love of the Lord. These types are still around today!
The best remedy against deception is to know the real thing and be filled with the Holy Spirit. John told his readers that they had a real anointing that would teach them all things. (1st John 2:20, 27) The Holy Spirit would keep them from deception. The One who lived in them was greater that the deceiver in the world! (1st John 4:4)
Scripture reading for December 2nd: 1st John 2:18-3:6
The term ‘antichrist’ brings up images of the beast of Revelation. This term ‘beast’ may bring up ideas of grotesque combinations of animal and human characteristics that are totally evil and bring fear to all men. But the term as used by John here refers to someone who set himself up as a replacement or counterfeit for Christ. This person may actually appear as a possible ‘Christ’. That’s why John spends time warning his church members to be on their guard and stay under the anointing of the Holy Spirit!
“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us, but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (1st John 2:18-19) John explains that the time they lived in was considered the ‘last days.’ There was an understanding that Jesus could return at any time and that before He appeared, the Antichrist would come.
Many false teachers were among the people of God in John’s day. Many of them denied Jesus was the Christ. They left fellowship with those in the church and took away those who would believe their false doctrines. John taught that this separation came because they were really not part of Christ’s true body. He warned the church to stick to the truth and not believe their lies! (1st John 2:20-25)
“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” (1st John 2:26-27)
We have need to listen closely to John’s warning today. Many false teachers have gone out from the true church and taken many with them. Millions are in deception because they really do not know Him and have the anointing of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Jesus Christ is coming soon, will you be confident and unashamed before Him?
Scripture reading for November 28th: 2nd Peter 2:1-22
Peter warned his flock about the false teachers who would come into their midst. These teachers secretly introduced destructive heresies, some that even denied the sovereign Lord who bought them. These teachers were greedy for money and used ear-tickling methods to divide off the weaker sheep and destroy them.
Peter made a case from church history emphasizing God’s dealing with false teaching and rebellion. The first example he used was that of Noah and his family. Noah preached righteousness by faith and built an ark to protect his family. God used a world-wide flood to judge the world of that day that had been corrupted by the false teaching of some wicked beings who were indwelt by fallen angels. These angels were also locked up in hell awaiting the judgment. (2nd Peter 2:4-5)
Next Peter cited the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God rescued the righteous Lot and his family, but judged the wicked that had rebelled against Him. Peter plainly stated that God would judge the false teachers who promoted immorality and heresy and would rescue those who stood firm in His word! (2nd Peter 2:7-9)
Peter went on to expose these false teachers for who they were. They were arrogant men who blasphemed God and His truth. They were ‘brute beasts’ who operated out of their instincts and fleshly desires. They were immoral and open about it. They were adulterous and greedy for money and sin. They seduced the weak and unstable among the believers. They enticed people who were just escaping from living in sin and took them back into bondage! Peter stated that they were “slaves of depravity”. (2nd Peter 2:13-19)
I think today about ministers and churches who openly embrace the sin of homosexuality as something ordained by God. I think of others who willingly promote “pro-choice’ politics and the murder of the innocent and do that while naming the name of Christ! Often this is done to attract those who so believe and gain monetary support from them. They tell them that God loves them and that they can go on living “as slaves of their depravity’. God’s word plainly states that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven! (1st Corinthians 6:9-11) God wants to save them, but without repentance He can not!
Scripture reading for October 6th: Colossians 2:8-23
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8) Paul’s straight-forward warning to these believers is also for us today. Our western world is full of hollow and deceptive philosophy, often taught in the church! Examples might include ‘positive thinking’, ‘God wants you rich’, ‘keep these rules’, or ‘there are many ways to be saved’.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In Him, you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:9-12) Believers have all they need in Christ alone! In Him we have been given fullness of salvation. Christ is head over all power and authority in heaven and on earth. He circumcised us internally as we placed our faith in His sacrifice through the cross.
The false teachers were trying to get these believers to keep certain religious festivals and go through certain rituals like circumcision. They were being told that what they ate or didn’t eat made them holy. These were probably the Jewish dietary laws. Paul told them that these were only a shadow of the reality that they had in Christ Himself. (Colossians 2:17) These have the appearance of wisdom but are of no value in restraining sensual indulgence! (Colossians 2:20-23)
Another aspect of these false teachers was supernatural visions and contact with angels. They used these visions to distract the believers from Christ and take them another direction. I believe that the church today must be discerning about those who claim to be prophets and use supernatural experiences to attract a crowd. Not all who come in the name of Christ are really of Him. In Christ alone and His holy word do we have safety and salvation. Test everything by the Spirit and Word. Pray for a knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and discernment! Don’t worry, God will keep you safe!
Scripture reading for September 14th: Galatians 1:1-24
Paul was an apostle who was sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father to minister to Gentiles. Paul had ministered in Galatia and planted churches there among Gentiles. Certain false teachers from among the Jewish believers had come along later and tried to persuade these Gentile believers that they needed to follow the Jewish custom of circumcision in order to be saved. Paul wrote this letter after his first missionary journey and the experience of the council at Jerusalem to encourage the church to trust in Christ’s sacrifice alone to save them. (Acts 15:28)
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–which is really no Gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a Gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-9) Paul was emphatic, twice repeating the curse on those changing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No one can change what God has done. No one can add to Christ’s work on the cross without taking away from the Gospel! Not even angels can change or add to it!
Paul did not make up the Gospel nor did he get it from some of the other disciples. He got it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12) Paul was a persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ and zealous for the traditions of the fathers of Judaism. But God revealed Jesus Christ to Paul and called him to preach to the Gentiles. (Acts 9:5,15) Paul went immediately to Arabia and then to Damascus. He spent three years there before going to Jerusalem to visit with Peter and James. These apostles had heard about his conversion and preaching and now got to meet this man. They thanked God for what He had done. (Galatians 1:18-24)
Paul’s Gospel message came directly from Christ, not even from the apostles James and Peter. The Gospel cannot be changed, only preached to those in need of salvation. Are you trusting in the true Gospel?