Thursday, April 8, 2010

Exposing False Spritiaul Teachers

There have always been and always will be false spiritual leaders who pretend to represent God. Moses encountered them in Egypt; Jeremiah fought against them in Judah; Ezekiel faced them saying “they have followed their own spirit and saw nothing” (Ezk. 13:3).

In the New Testament Jesus describes them as “false Christ’s” and “false prophets” who will attempt to show signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24).

Paul says they preach another gospel, and doctrines of demons (Gal. 1:8-9; I Tim. 4:1). Peter said they bring in damnable heresies (2 Peter 2:1). John said many anti Christ’s were already at work (I John 2:18, 22). Jude call them dreamers who defile the flesh (Jude v.8). Paul summed it up well when he said they are wolves who will enter in and will not spare the flock (Acts 20:29).

Christians who ignore the danger of false spiritual teachers do so at their own peril. False teachers are masters of deception; they peddle their doctrines of demons to unsuspecting souls marketing eternal damnation to them as if it were eternal life.

To make matters worse, many people in churches today are motivated by a cowardly fear of being rejected, of hurting someone’s feelings, or misguided notions of love, and are reluctant to expose today’s deceivers. Instead of confronting error, Christians simply embrace it or ignore it in the name of tolerance.

The apostle Peter He had no such qualms about denouncing the deceivers who threatened his beloved flock. He makes his opinion of these false leaders unmistakably clear. He said they were "as useless as dried up wells of water" (2 Peter 2:17). Peter understood that false teachers are emissaries of hell and pawns of Satan who are motivated by the love of money, power, prestige, and prominence. His exact words are:

“there shall be false teachers among you who will bring in damnable heresies” (2:1). That means false doctrines that lead people to hell when they think they are going to heaven. Then Peter said of these false teachers, “…. their damnation slumbers not” (2:3b).

Ironically, the most dangerous threats to the church do not come from those people who openly reject the gospel, but rather from those people who profess to know it and believe it, but lie instead. Satan’s most effective agents are those people who secretly infiltrate a church and pass themselves as genuine shepherds, leaders, and truthful teachers of God’s Word.

In reality, however, they are deceivers because they have been deceived themselves. They verbally affirm their knowledge of God’s Word and claim to speak for God, but their actions indicate they are actually enemies of the Cross.

The most subtle danger is that such false teachers are often people we know and trust, who might be our friends or even related to. It’s much easier to be on guard against the “boogie man” out there somewhere. But when a false teacher has a nice face and a real name, is someone you know and like, then it is very, very difficult to take a stand.

That is exactly where you must take a stand; and it doesn’t matter who they are.


Jodi said...

Unfortunately i got sucked into the teaching of a false teacher years ago. I couldnt understand at first how that happened. Now i understand. There was enough "truth" in the teaching to mislead - i wasnt decieved by an obvious false teaching- but by the proverbial "wolf in sheeps clothing." This taught me a valuable lesson: GET IN THE WORD AND STAY THERE, STUDY FOR MYSELF, AND PRAY FOR DISCERMENT AND GUIDANCE BY THE HOLY SPIRIT! We simply must do this!

Ron said...

That's exactly right, Jodi; get in the Word and stay there. Thanks for the good word.