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False Teachers/Doctrine

Are there false teachers among us? Yes, and the Bible tells us about them. We find that 24 of the 27 New Testament books warn us of false teachers. One must be grounded in the Scriptures to avoid false teachings and false teachers, Romans 16:17. Jesus told us in Matthew 7:15 that these false teachers were wolves in sheeps clothing. These are false teachers trying to deceive. Satan has used deception to lead people to hell from the time of Adam and Eve up to today, and will continue until God cast him into a lake of fire and brimstone, Revelation 20:10.

Apostasy is turning away from the true New Testament faith. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4 it is explained that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts they will gather to themselves teachers who will only teach what they want to hear, turning away from biblical truth, and following fables - mere stories. So this apostasy is not a problem of ignorance it is the willful rejection of the truth of God's Word. When professing believers turn away from the truth they are turned to fables. It is the devil that will blind the minds of those who refuse to believe God's Word, 2 Corinthians 4:4.

The sad thing about this is that it only occurs in the Church, not the world. It is in the last days, the days we are now in, that perilous times will come, 2 Timothy 3:1. Then in 2 Timothy 3:2-4 we see how the church members have turned away from the truth of God's Word. These immoral people have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof and from such, Christians are to turn away, 2 Timothy 3:5. Basically they are play acting. Can the church make these false believers turn to God? No, they will increase and get worse and worse, deceiving others and themselves, 2 Timothy 3:13. We must remember that there are those in the church who profess to believe, but do not, these are called hypocrites, or those who are deceived."

The kingdom and The Deceived

In the Gospels we find that Jesus came preaching the kingdom to the Jews, Matthew 4:17. He also sent His diciples to preach the kingdom to the Jews, Matthew 10:7. The Jews rejected the kingdom, Luke 9:22, and the nation of Israel was set aside temporarily, and then the church, as we know it, comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, came into being, Romans 9:24-26. This is also confirmed in Hosea 3:4-5, For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. After the church is caught out to heaven,,commonly known as the rapture of the church, there will be a time of the Great Tribulation in which the Jews will again turn to God and enter into the millennial kingdom of Christ that Jesus and the disciples preached in the Gospels.

In Matthew chapter 13 Jesus gave several parables relating to the church. We need to remember that the church is not the kingdom but the true church consists of true believers who are IN the kingdom, but are not the kingdom. In Matthew 13:24 we see that a man sowed good seed in a field. Then in Matthew 13:38 we have Jesus explaining that the field is the world and the good seed are the children of the kingdom. Next it is explained that while men slept an enemy came and sowed tares, weeds, among the wheat, the good seed, Matthew 13:25. Again Jesus explains in Matthew 13:38 that the tares are the children of the devil. The Tares are those who are mere professors of Christianity who reject the redemptive work of Christ. In Matthew 13:28 we see that an enemy sowed the tares, the false christians. Then in Matthew 13:39 Jesus says the enemy that sowed them is the devil. The end of these false believers is that they are cast into a furnace of fire, Matthew 13:42.

Then explaining the false believers, Jesus gives the parable of the mustard seed, Matthew 13:31-32. Birds are mentioned in Matthew 13:4 and explained in Matthew 13:39 as the wicked one. The wicked one, the devil, can not be in all places at one time but he has the fallen angels, demons, on his side doing his bidding. The birds are the demon spirits and apostate Christians controlled by demons, 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, within what is called the church.

The mustard seed tells us of the outward expansion of the church, while the parable of the leaven, Matthew 13:33, tells us of the inward expansion of false doctrine and living. When the yeast has begun it's process it is impossible to stop. The same as we have seen in our study above that these false teachers and false teachings in the church would continue and grow faster in the last days, the days in which we are now living. Jesus used leaven to say, beware the leaven of the Pharisees and went on to use it as a picture of hypocrisy, Luke 12:1, and of false teaching, Matthew 16:6-12. The apostle Paul used the expression of a little leaven in Galatians 5:9. This corrupting influence of a little leaven refers to the false teachers. A very small number of false teachers can corrupt a entire church.

Apostasy in our Churches

Apostasy in our churches began during the days of the apostles and continues today as more false teachers appear and more of the world appears in our churches. This will eventually end in the one world church through the movement of ecumenicalism. Through this movement we are asked to come together as one and don't critize other Christians but join them in fellowship. However, we are to fight for the faith once delivered to believer's, Jude 1:3. We are not to allow false doctrine in our churches, 1 Timothy 1:3. In addition we are to separate ourselves from those who teach a different doctrine, not join with them in fellowship as ecumenicalism desires, Romans 16:17-18.

Beginning in Galatians 1:6 we see there was an effort to lead the Galatians astray from the true Gospel. Paul taught a gospel of salvation by the grace of God through faith in what Jesus had done for us on the cross and not by works of the law, Galatians 2:19-21. Again we see that false teachers have been introducing false doctrine into the church and have been a problem since the church was first established.

Identifying False Teachers

Looking at the epistle of Jude we see that the first 16 verses tells us the motives and the mischief of those who have crept in unnoticed to spread their false teaching. Then looking at verse 17 to the end of the epistle we find that a shift has taken place. Instead of denouncing false teachers Jude now begins to instruct us how to respond to such teachers.

Jude explains three things that identify false teachers. He said they have gone in the way of Cain, ran after the error of Balaam for reward and perished in the gainsaying of Core, Jude 1:11. The following is an explanation of the way of Cain, the error of Balaam and the gainsaying of Core.

(1)The way of Cain is the natural man who has not been saved but believes in God and religion yet rejects redemption by blood. They explain away the blood sacrifice that was made by Christ. This is religion without faith, based on character and good works. It does not take good works to get to heaven, it takes faith in Christ and His finished work, Ephesians 2:8-9.

(2)The Error of Balaam. The Bible mentions three teachings about Balaam, the way of Balaam, the doctrine of Balaam, and the error of Balaam. a. The error of Balaam is that of his natural reasoning. He thought that God, seeing the evil in Israel, would have to curse Israel. Balaam was blind to spiritual things and didn't see that God is just, and a justifier of a believeing sinner. b. The doctrine of Balaam is his teaching Balak to corrupt the people who could not be cursed by tempting them to marry women of Moab, Revelation 2:14; Numbers 31:15. c.The Way of Balaam was as a prophet for hire and was looking only to make money, 2 Peter 2:15. The purpose of his ministry was to make money, not to serve God.

(3)The gainsaying of Core – Core (Korah) denied Moses' authority as God's chosen spokesman and intruded into the priest's office, Numbers 16:1-3. Korah was attempting to take a priestly order without the divine authority. God had the earth to open and swallowed up all their houses and men that pertained to Korah and all their goods. They went down alive into the pit and the earth closed upon them and they perished from among the congregation, Numbers 16:28-33.

Jude, who was the half-brother of Jesus wrote in Jude 1:3 that He wanted to write to them of their common salvation, but now it was needful that he write to exhort them to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the believers. To earnestly contend for the faith means that it will be a continous struggle. He is telling us that believers will be in a never ending fight against false teaching. It should be noted that all believer's are called to fight, not just the pastor and other church leaders. All believers need to be able to recognize false teachers and false teachings in the church and prevent it.

Why did Jude ask believer's to contend for the faith? Because certain persons had crept in unnoticed who were ungodly and turned the grace of God into licentiousness and denied the Lord Jesus Christ, Jude 1:4. The apostle Paul also mentions that they were false apostles, deceitful workers who disguised themselves as apostles of Christ and that even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:13-14. The apostates look good but a close examination of their doctrines will reveal a perversion of the truth.

Our Lord's half-brother, Jude, doesn't have much good to say about the false teachers. Here are some of the things mentioned in his book:

  • they are ungodly, Jude 1:4

  • they are perverted, Jude 1:4

  • they deny Christ, Jude1:4

  • they defile the flesh, Jude 1:8

  • they are rebellious, Jude 1:8

  • they revile angels, Jude 1:8

  • they are ignorant of God, Jude 1:8

  • they proclaim false visions, Jude 1:10

  • they are self destructive, Jude 1:10

  • they are grumblers, Jude 1:16

  • they are fault finders, Jude 1:16

  • they are self satisfying, Jude 1:16

  • they use arrogant words and false flattery, Jude 1:16

  • they are mockers of God, Jude 1:18

  • they cause divisions, Jude 1:19

  • they are devoid of the spirit, which means they are not saved, Jude 1:19

Here are a few, there are many more, things that we can use to identify false teachers:

  • they look good, clouds without water, but have nothing good to provide, Jude 1:12

  • they try to take us away from what we already believe, they are like clouds that are carried with a tempest, wells without water, 2 Peter 2:17

  • they are deceitful, especially if you present the truth to them, 2 Corinthians 11:13; Jeremiah 14:14

  • they serve themselves, their own good and by good words and fair speeches deceive the ears of the naive and simple, Romans 16:18

  • they use craftiness and lie in wait to deceive, Ephesians 4:14

  • they overthrow the faith of some by purposefully teaching error instead of truth, 2 Timothy 2:18

  • they misrepresent the character of God, Revelation 2:14-15

  • they are to be avoided, 1 Timothy 1:4; 6:20; Colossians 2:8; Jeremiah 29:8

  • their false teaching will be believed by the lost, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11

  • they are deceivers and antichrists who do not confess that Jesus came in the flesh, 2 John 1:7

  • they are not even allowed to enter the house of a true believer, 2 John 1:9-10

  • they speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them, Acts 20:30

  • they are theives and robbers, John 10:1, 8, 10

  • they are proud, 1 Timothy 6:3-4

  • they promise liberty but they themselves are servants of corruption, 2 Peter 2:19

  • they are false brothers who come in to spy out our liberty in Christ so that they might bring us into bondage of the law, Galatians 2:4

  • they are corrupt, reprobate concerning the faith, 2 Timothy 3:8

  • they are covetous and will use true believers to make money, 2 Peter 2:3

  • they are deceitful workers, 2 Corinthians 11:13

  • they are cruel, as grievous wolves, Acts 20:29

  • they pervert the gospel of Christ, Galatians 1:6-7

False Teachers Deceive the Lost

False teachers deceive not only believer's in the church, but they deceive those outside the church who are lost, Acts 20:29-30. Apostates can be seen through their unrighteous behavior. To the believer all things are pure but to the apostates, the unsaved false teachers, nothing is pure. Their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him and are disobedient and worthless for any good deed, Titus 1:15-16.

How can we have spiritual victory with so much false teaching everywhere and the continual increase of false teachers? We can separate from the apostates and 2 Timothy 3:5 tells us to turn away from such. In an apostate church John tells us in Revelation 18:4 to come out of her and don't be partakers of her sins. We are to continue in the things that we have learned, 2 Timothy 3:14. Then, of course, we are not to allow false doctrines in our church, 1 Timothy 1:3-4.

We should place our confidence in God's Word. The Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness that we might be able to perform all good works, 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Although the Bible was written by 40 different men, it was breathed out from God through the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:21. The Bible has 40 different writters but one author, God the Holy Spirit. For additional information on the Bible go to Is the Bible True.

Peter tells us that we are to endure sound doctrine for a time will come that some will not. They will go after their own lusts and heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears and will be turned away from the truth to fables, 2 Timothy 4:2-4. The devil is always waiting for us and walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour so we are to be sober and vigilant, 1 Peter 5:8. Paul also gives us a warning in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 that he fears that as the serpent beguiled Eve that Satan himself might also deceive us.

One of the best things we can do to avoid false teachers is to be a faithful member of a good church that is Bible believeing and led by godly men. This is the place of protection in these last days, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14.

Separation from false teachers/doctrine

It has been proven that the longer an error is condoned the more it will be believed. If we condone error then we are compromising the truth. As one looks at liberalism it is found to not be anything near Orthodox theology. Liberalism is not part Christian and part non-christian, it is anti-christian.

In 2 Corinthians 13-18 Paul told the Corinthians not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Many churches today are also led by false teachers and therefore should be avoided. Believer's are to separate from unrighteousness. Paul also said in Galatians 1:9 that those who preach any other gospel would be accursed. Those that teach salvation by good works are false teachers/preachers and should be avoided and pointed out.

John pointed out in 2 John 1:9 that those who do not have the doctrine of Christ are lost. Then in 2 John 1:10 we are told to not even invite them into our house nor bid them God speed, for if we do we are partakers of their evil deeds, 2 John 1:11.


Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:13

Romans 10:9-10
Romans 10:13

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