2 Pet 2:1-3
God is the source of all truth, and the only record we have of His truth is the inspired Word of God. We may pull historic facts from the writings of the Talmud, or from Josephus, but the fact remains that we are only assured of the truth that this Book contains. The goal of every false teacher is the same at the core: to turn people away from the truth. That is why it is of the utmost importance that we put the Word of God before the people as often as we can to inundate God’s people with truth. Those who are familiar with truth will more readily recognize error. If we teach error then expect you to recognize truth, we are doing the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. Here is the question for the hour—how can a person who is seeking truth get caught up in the web of deceit spun by a false teacher? I really think it is a simple answer but not an easy solution. They are brought in by the little amount of truth that is presented, and then they are duped when the error is mixed in. Review question: how much error must be mingled with the truth in order to make the truth no longer true? Any amount of error. I was raised in Ohio, but we did most of our business in Richmond, IN. There are two notable people from Richmond—The bandleader Glen Miller, and Jim Jones, the founder of Jonestown. So when the tragedy occurred in 1978, the local were a little shook up by the news. 909 people willingly drank cyanide laced beverages and committed the greatest mass suicide in human history. How did Jonestown grow to be so popular? There was the promise of loving people unconditionally if you were to come to the People’s Temple. He then began to denounce the philosophy of modern religion, and then converted the masses to take up a socialistic lifestyle by living in a commune. In order to escape the oppression of the US govt, and especially the IRS, the group moved to Guyana where Jim Jones revealed himself as the Messiah. That is an extreme example of a false teacher, but be warned we are facing a more dangerous threat of false teaching in our current day.
1. There is a history of false teachers. We can look back to the Garden of Eden to see the source of all this when the serpent twisted and added to the Word of God to deceive Adam and Eve. We can consider the children of Israel fresh off of their deliverance from bondage, and see how they came up against Aaron and spoke against the truth and demanded that an idol be set up s they could return to their pagan practices. Jeremiah faced strong opposition from the FP Hananiah who boldly spoke against Jeremiah in the name of the Lord. That is a practice of the FP. They will become familiar with the lingo that you have become accustomed to and use it against you. Many FP’s even backed up their words with supernatural works and would point to these events as the confirmation of their words. Do not be fooled, Satan is transformed into an angel of light and his ministers can work under the same cover. So when we see a man like Benny Hinn preach a message of heresy and then go into the crowd and cause folks to swoon and people to jump out of the wheel chairs he will use that gimmick to confirm what he has just taught. Anytime a mans doctrine is in conflict with God’s word and will, you are dealing with a false teacher.
Jeremiah 27:15 For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Ezekiel 13:3 Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.
In the NT the words of Jesus remind us:
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Acts 20:27-30 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
2. Their methods. They come privily. They are sneaky and up to no good. I think you know by now that false teaching does not come through the front door and declare itself.
Jude 3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. They didn’t mean for the curch to become Calvinistic, they didn’t meant to mix the local and universal church, etc. We often look to liberalism or modernism as a point of attack , but do you understand that when modernism began they had good intentions? It was not their original intent to destroy the integrity or to doubt the inspiration of the Scriptures, that is just the road that higher criticism led them down. The original intent of these scholars was to protect the Bible from the attack of modern science and philosophy. But happened? Every major seminary in Europe swallowed the poison, then most every major seminary in America, and we saw the mass production of highly educated false prophets.
You have to appreciate Paul’s concept of Christian education.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
They will introduce error (damnable heresies). Think about the Galatians who were quickly turned and bewitched. Consider Paul’s warning to Timothy in 2 Tim 4.
Then they go as far as to speak evil of the truth. In churches around here, they might use words like legalist, narrow minded, bible thumper, etc. to put a label on us. Consider how the media loves to bring the fall of pastor so and so, and run it as a lead story on the news. Baker, Swaggert, Haggerty. We do not hear much of the missionary who lives on the bare minimum and who faithfully proclaims the word of God day after day.
V3 they use feigned words. Counterfeit tales, pretended facts. Their desire is to make merchandise of you—line their pockets. It is so sad to see people send their offerings to some man o TV or to some organization that has convinced them that they have cornered the truth.
Here is God’s solution to the problem—saturate yourself with the truth.
Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.