The biggest challenge Christians are going to face prior to Christ’s coming will be proliferation of false teachings and their purveyors.
How then do you recognise these false teachers and prophets? You are welcome.
DEFINITION OF A FALSE TEACHER/PROPHET
He is not a teacher/prophet:He is fake! He is a dummy! A counterfeit! An impostor! A fraudster! A charlatan! A masquerader! A trickster! A deceiver! A placebo!
Note: There is a difference between someone who teaches an incorrect doctrine based on his/her spiritual growth and a false teacher.
Paul said:”When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”-1Cor 13:11. If Paul remembers what he used to say and teach while he was a child now,does it make him a false teacher? No! Growth has actually taken place between the time he was a child and now.With this definition in mind,many of those we call false teachers are just baby teachers still growing in Christ.Hence Paul prayed for the Ephesians:”asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give them spiritual wisdom and insight so that they might grow in the knowledge of God.”
In contrast,a false teacher is never a child and He is never a man.He is a dummy of a child.A camouflage of a man!He is never a teacher/prophet.
DESCRIPTIONS OF A FALSE TEACHER/PROPHET
Let’s look at the cloth he wears, what he says with his mouth(for out of the abundance of the heart a man speaks),his moves,the content of his message and his goals.
1)The cloth:”Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.-Matt 7:15.
A false teacher will almost always be a fellow ‘christian’,or a ‘believer’.You can’t spot him using his physical appearance.He clothes himself with humility like a sheep.
How then can you recognise him? Jesus answered:”By their fruit you will recognize them.”/”You will know them by what they produce”-Matt 7:16a. Give him time,he will manifest! It takes time for a tree to bear fruit ,likewise it takes time to see a false teacher’s deception.So don’t be in a rush when you want to spot a false teacher/prophet.
2)The mouth:For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless /meaningless/empty/talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation-Titus 1:10
“…by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.”-Romans 16:18. They don’t talk about anything negative, like sin and hell.
“….They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions…1Tim 6:4
What do you do to his smooth mouth? “Whose mouths must be stopped, who ruin whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain.”-Titus 1:11
3)Surreptitious leg moves:“Some people have slipped in among you unnoticed”-Jude 1:4
What do you do about them? “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away(withdraw yourself) from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us”-2Thess 3:6
4)Content of their message:
a)They preach a different Jesus from the one written in the Bible
b)They minister a different spirit from the Holy Spirit to their followers.
c)They preach a different gospel from the gospel of grace.
“For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you are all too willing to listen.”-2Cor 11:4.
Don’t be like these Corinthians. Stop listening to them! Unfriend them,block them!
a)To cause divisions:”Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for those people who create divisions and who make others fall away [from the Christian faith] by teaching doctrine that is not the same as you have learned.”-Romans 16:17
How do you treat them: “Keep away from them.”-vs 17b
b)To get followers:”I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.And men will rise up from your own number with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them”-Act 20:19-20
c)Self-interests:”Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests”-Romans 16:18a. They’re after power, fame, money, or sinful sexual gratification:”…teaching what they ought not, just for the sake of making money/dishonest gain’s sake.”-Titus 1:11b
Let me pause here for now…
I have deliberately not mentioned any individual /church but I believe with the help of the Holy Spirit you can start spotting them.The false teachers are no longer domiciled in the church,they are now on the internet and they bombard their preys every second with false teachings.
But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.-2Tim 3:13
Stay blessed and rapturable.