Teachers of Deception

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, … In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 6)

The Church has always had false teaching within their midst. Some of it is not all that harmful. Preachers that bend the Scripture to fit their own topic. It is not that harmful but in no way am I saying that it is right. The only correct teaching is the teaching that is founded in the context of God’s Word. God does not need our help in defining His Word. It was before the beginning, (John 1:1) and it will endure long past this world. All that man is to do is abide in His Spirit and speak what He teaches. There is power in the Word of God, it is the power of creation. (Genesis 1) There are many today that are so ignorant in their understanding of God’s Word that variations to fit their own desires is okay with them. They think that if they hear a different twist or a new slant that it is alright and should not be confronted for what it is, a lie. How serious is it really, generations have been led to the gates of Hell where they will remain for eternity. False teaching cannot be more serious.

Who are these false teachers that subvert the gospel truth of God’s Word? The Apostle John has a lot to say about them in his three letters to the Church. There are two groups of children in this world the children of God known by the fruit of their spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) And there are the children of the devil who are known by unrighteousness and a lack of true love. “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10)

Those who are seeking God, His Kingdom and His righteousness are the children of God. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) Those who have been blinded by the god of this world and care not for the Word of God are the children of the devil. “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:6)

Those who are children of the devil live a life of deception and desire to pull all then can into their lifestyle. They hate reproof and they scoff at knowledge and they flee from the light. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 1:7)

Then there are the superstar antichrists who John says pretend to be holy and righteous and claim to have a saving faith in Jesus Christ. They blend in with the Church in an effort to seek, kill, and destroy the brethren of the faith. It is the satanic attack of the devil to bring down Christ Church.  We have been warned of the antichrist but we focus only on one. But there have been many in the past and there are many today and yet some to come. By this we know that soon our Lord will appear. “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)

This is the one who says that God is in all things and all religions point to Him. Yet they can’t help but deny the cornerstone of the Church, they deny Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior the King of kings. They say that there is a God but they do not know Him. “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)

None who do not believe in their heart and confess with their mouth is from God. Jesus is the only way to fellowship with the Father. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) If the teacher teaches any other way to God than through Jesus Christ he is the antichrist. “And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

When these false teachers are questioned you will find that they do not acknowledge who Jesus is. They deny His humanity by saying that he was not a human, if He was not human, then He could not have been the perfect sacrifice for our sin. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 1:7)

Do they live as they teach? Do they follow the commands of Jesus? Is their testimony true? “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4)

Do they claim for themselves complete righteousness? That they live a sinless life because they are incapable of sin because of their faith in Jesus. This is not possible for a man to do. No man ever has lived a life that is without sin, all men are born into sin. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10)

John declares that they are perverting the truth of God’s Word and stretching the truth way beyond its boundaries. Anything beyond the truth is no less than a lie. If they can make a lie out of a portion of truth, then that is the key of their deception. “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9)

Rooting the false teachers out of a Church is not an easy thing to do. I have seen it in my time in my father’s Church. Weak minded believers will follow any doctrine if it meets their own needs. They believe that if it sounds good, if it feels good, them it must be good. This of course is not the truth and John gave some good advice on how to deal with false teachers in the Church.

If their teaching is not founded on the Word of God only, then they are teaching false doctrine and the result will be devastating to the Church family. Test them by the Scriptures and do not let them teach you their lies. “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” (1 John 2:27)

If a teacher comes to you and is not teaching the Word of God as the Spirit has led you to understand it. If their teaching does not line up with the rest of the scriptures. If they do not have the love of God in their heart, then do not allow them entry into the fellowship of your Church. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting.” (2 John 1:10)

As we draw near to the end of the Church age, the age of grace, Satan and his demons will go out with all diligence to subvert the Church and fling many souls into the pit. Test every spirit that enters into you Church family. Not just Pastors but also the laity. For the wolves dressed as sheep are always circling the camp. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, July 21, 2016

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