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Jesus warned us that "false Christs and false prophets" will come and will attempt to deceive even God's elect (Matthew 24:23-27; see also 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 17-18). The best way to guard yoursel...
Well, false teachers have always been there and they will always be there. However, it is incumbent on us to be spiritually alert to be able to identify such elements if any in church. A false teacher may not necessarily be a pastor, or in any leadership position, he could be just a fellow Christian who may insist on you taking wrong counseling. However, we should also take note that many of such people never start as so, they start as good servants of God, but along the way, many other things set in, e.g. things like issues to do with mammon. And because such people are usually not well grounded in the word and aren't seriously principled (Luke 8:5-15), they get easily swayed away. An example in view of this is the story of Judas Iscariot in Mathew 27:3-5. Judas never intended things to end the way they did for him, he only thought he would manage them his own way, but they went out of his hands, he went on to act desperately. This is how; many of the people of God begin, only to see things crumble before them. Once you know you can never do things in your own power, but by the power of God through His Son Jesus the CHRIST, you are safe, if not, you are doomed. However, as for me, this is how I have been able to identify false teachers and prophets. 1) They tend to over glorify themselves 2) They don't do what they preach 3) They tend to ignore the name of Jesus in their teachings 4) They are so authoritative 5) They aren't principled in the word of God 6) They usually disregard others 6) They tend not to want to work with others e.t.c In Matthew 7:15-21, Jesus warned us of the false prophets. He gave us only one criteria by which we can identify them; their fruits, how they commensurate with what they say or claim to be. According to Jesus' words, any Christian who does not critically seek to follow in the footsteps of the LORD Jesus can be defined in this category. Jesus goes on to warn us of the leavened of the pharisees in Matthew 16:5-12. In such a case, we are left with the scripture to be the guiding principle without which we are doomed. Churches have started well but because of not being very critical on who they let in on the alter, bad seeds have been sown which have bred some of the kind of Christians we see today who only follow their heads (Matthew 13:24-30. Man will always get lost if he leads himself! God bless
Every word that we hear preached or taught must line up perfectly with the Word of GOD. To be as those in Berea who "searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Acts 17:10-11 And not forgetting to be "diligent to present yourself approved to GOD, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 We know that there will be false teachers, and if we fill our hearts and our minds (memory) with His Word, the false teachings will be easily seen in comparison. The Secret Service teaches their agents to recognize the counterfeit, not by studying the fake but by examining the real thing. That's the way we can know the fake when we hear it....the real thing, His Word, will already be at home in us. We don't have to spend time learning the wiles of the enemy, just learn GOD's Word, store it up in your heart. Read Psalm 119
Those who preach that Christians are bound to the Law are false teachers. (Gal 5:4, 2 Cor 3:7-9) Those that add anything to John 3:16 in order for one to be saved are false teachers. Guilt preachers are false teachers. They say things like, “U.S. Christians like Starbucks more than Christ, lattes more than Lordship, doughnuts over discipleship, entertainment over evangelism.” Those are they that also make us feel guilty about not tithing enough, not reading the Word enough, etc... Basically that we're not being like Jesus. We know that sanctification is a process. We gradually and individually progress from "milk" to "solid food." (1 Cor 3:2, Heb 5:12) The Bible tells us that the person who believes in Jesus and experiences his grace will be motivated and will desire to live a life that honors him. That is because God himself gives us the power and the ability to do what is pleasing to him. Phl 2:13 NLT - For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Also, doesn't Jesus tell us not to judge others in Matt 7:1-5? Instead, true teachers will encourage us, not condemn us. (Heb. 3:13, Rom. 15:5, John 3:17) They should tell us that we are righteous in the eyes of God, not because of anything we've done, but because of what Jesus went through on the cross! (Luke 1:6, 1 Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 5:21) Praise God!
As a believers and followers of Jesus, we are all a friends of His (John 15: 9-17); His ambassador to the world (John 17: 18-19), and make sure first that we ourselves are not a false teacher/false prophet (Mathew 7: 1-23; Luke 6: 37- 45). If we ourselves are not a false teacher, we have the power to recognize a false teacher/false prophet as Jesus had told us in the passages above; that is what a friend for. Amen?
Here is a little checklist of things to look out for. 1 does not teach repentance or teaches it's only required for initial salvation and not a state of the heart. 2 Easy Believism: just believe in God even if you have no fruit of repentance and salvation in your life you'll go to heaven or just believing there's a God. 3 tells you to simply do your own thing and you'll make God happy rather than encouraging you to seek God's will for your life.
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