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Sunday, 06 July 2014 00:00

10 Characteristics of False Teachers

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10 Characteristics of False Teachers

The Bible says that a great deception, or great apostasy will come on the land before the return of Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) It is here! The sad fact is that most of the “elect” or those who call themselves Christians, have no clue that they are being led astray by false teachers. (“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.”(Matthew 24:24-25, NKJV).

They assume that because some teacher has thousands following him/her, that they have to be teaching sound doctrine. Most also have not taken any time to lift that possibility up to the Lord and ask for His insight and discernment. If you ask for His warning flags, He will give them. Don't assume anything.

Here are a few signs for evaluating false teachers:

1) More attention is focused on them and their ministry than on Christ. When men or women value their titles highly and continuously speak about their anointing or what they have accomplished, they are not humble servants of God.

2) They will ask you to do something that compromises your beliefs or sway your beliefs to fit their theology. You've always believed a certain scripture to be true, but suddenly the teacher has given a meaning that leaves your spirit unsettled. It's taken out of context of what the passage was teaching and used to try to invent something new or change some behavior or attitude.

3) They will de-emphasize the divine nature of Christ or the divine nature of the Bible. If a person does not believe the Bible is the holy, divine, inspired Word of God, then nothing else they teach really matters. It becomes a “bless me club” of cafeteria style doctrine, choosing verses and making up their own theology to tickle men's ears. “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Tim 4:3

4) They will urge believers to make decisions more based on human judgment and popular culture's acceptance (political correctness) than on God's Word and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We have a difficult path but Jesus said the world would hate us. (Matt 10:22) If all the worldly, popular folks adore us, we're most likely not standing on the truth of God. Godliness sets a high standard.

5) They will use emotions to lead people into decisions and actions. Emotions are manipulated by beautiful music, repetitious lyrics and a crowd mentality where it seems that if everyone else is into the flow, it has to be right, or has to be the Holy Spirit moving. Wrong. Satan masquarades as an angel of light. False signs and wonders can create false beliefs which lead to disaster. (Mark 13:22) Research indicates that some churches resemble cults, using mind control techniques. http://www.phinnweb.org/neuro/brainwash/

6) They will declare a secret knowledge that God has given them, often a new revelation on a scripture or doctrine that they must share. These new revelations are often a total twisting or misuse of scripture. They will offer their secrets to hungry believers at a cost, usually for books, DVDs, conferences, etc. This usually includes an unbalanced focus on prophecy and spiritual warfare.

7) They are highly skilled in public speaking, influencing with an appearance of love, compassion and usually reminding listeners of their anointing. It is superficial. Due to the sometimes demonic powers involved, seekers might “feel” something spiritual pushing them, leading them or creating a mood. It doesn't ensure it is the Holy Spirit of God. Occultic powers can influence easily if one is open to them.

8) They feed that craving to go deeper that believers often have, by offering a more sensational and entertaining worship service. People are impatient to wait on the invisible work of God within the heart. They will chase after leaders seeking one experience after another, looking for manifestations.

Generally, these manifestations are purely entertainment. There is no sign of transformation in the believer's life. (Matt 7:15-20)

9) They will teach just enough good and sound teachings to lure the hungry believer in, but then put their new twist on it which moves into the very unsound teaching that damages people's lives.

10) They play to those who think they are mature, but in truth do not know the Word of God. Many Christians never study the Bible in depth, only read trendy books, watch DVDs or follow popular teachers on television. These people are easily manipulated.

We should never assume any supernatural experience is from God. Yes, some are; but many are not.

Satan imitates God's work and many teachers are deceived themselves. This is why it is critically important to pray much, study the Word by chapters and books to get the full context of the meaning of the scripture, and let the Holy Spirit be your true Guide. Pray for a sharper discernment every day. Do research to learn more about the foundational beliefs of those you follow. You may be surprised.

There are dozens of scriptures about being deceived. The Lord gives us so much freedom to make our own choices, but He desires that we walk circumspectly, always alert and watchful, listening for His voice of direction. We want to be considered a part of “the remnant” or those who are faithful to His original truth despite apostasy and opposition. Among people professing religious faith, the remnant is a relatively small minority. A sobering thought for sure.

Read 2689 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 November 2014 06:39

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