“Our Lord sent His disciples out as sheep among wolves; now the wolves are being invited into the sheepfold.”
by Mark Karapetyan
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ferocious wolves.” “Many false teachers will arise and deceive many” (Matthew 7:15; 24:11).
These are the words Jesus once uttered when He forewarned people to watch out for false teachers. Two thousand years later, it appears as though millions of people have disregarded Jesus’ forebodings, and many churches around the world have turned a deaf ear to His words of warning.
Look at the churches around the globe in general, and in America in particular. Millions upon millions of deceived people follow, believe, and listen to charlatans and false preachers who disguise themselves as God-fearing, righteous men.
These false teachers/preachers are very clever and cunning. They never advertise their real motives or true intentions to their congregations out loud. They never make it obvious that they are deceiving the church. They speak sweet words dripping like honey, show deep compassion while interacting with church members, express genuine emotion from the pulpit, and always sound confident and convincing while preaching their messages.
Sadly, scores of Christians all around the world continue to be deceived by these kinds of false teachers-exactly whom Jesus warned us to watch out for.
Two questions come to mind as I write about this crucial topic.
1. Why are some people so easily deceived?
2. How can we identify false teachers and false teaching?
Why do people get deceived?
People are deceived either because they have no foundation to stand upon, or the foundation is unstable and insecure. Imagine a building built either upon nothing, or upon a sandy, muddy foundation? How long do you think that building will stand before it collapses and turns into rubble? Imagine a car built on a frame made from flimsy and soft material? What would happen to that car if there were a collision?
These analogies apply to us also. In (Matthew 7:24-27), Jesus says: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Notice how Jesus says that everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be wise. Contrary to common belief, merely hearing Jesus’ words is not enough; one must act upon them.
If you want a solid biblical foundation, you must first read what Jesus says, and then obey His words. Eventually, following Jesus’ sayings will become a habit and doing the ‘right things’ will be second nature. Then, when the rain and the floods come (false teachers and false teachings), you will not be easily moved away from your biblical beliefs. How do you think all the heresies throughout history arose?
Jehovah’s witnesses and Mormons for example, will come to your door, smile, politely greet you, sweet talk you, ask to come in, and then cleverly deceive you with false teachings and doctrines. This will leave you believing that they actually answered all your questions, cleared up all your confusions, and explained the truth about the Bible you hadn’t known up to that point. In reality, they did nothing but distort, alter, and corrupt the truth about God’s word; those are the kinds of teachers you need to watch out for!
If you don’t read the Bible regularly and understand what it teaches, you will not be able to differentiate between true and false teachings. Sadly, many Christians fall into this trap. They claim to have been believers since childhood, but when they are asked to quote a verse from the Bible or explain a certain doctrine, they are perplexed, puzzled, and cannot remember anything.
In all honesty, how could anyone recognize a false teaching if he/she did not know the true teachings?
How to identify false teachers & false teachings?
Not every false teacher exhibits the characteristics of a deceiver. Watch out ! False teachers almost always resemble the flock. They will come to you as wolves in sheep’s clothing, tell you about Jesus here and there, but cunningly deny His deity and power. They will start off their sermons with statements such as “I say,” but ignore what the LORD says. They will give you the ‘emotional experience’ you lack in your life, but fail to inform you that truth is never based on emotions or experiences, but rather on facts and evidence. They will make you feel good about yourself by telling you about God’s love and mercy and promising you freedom; however, they purposely hide from you the way to salvation and God’s wrath against sin and sinners. They will hint to you that faith in God is important, but stress to you that faith in yourself is grander because it will decide your destiny. They will remind you that the focus is YOU and your happiness, but avoid telling you that suffering is part of the true, normal, expected Christian walk. Jesus said that we must carry the CROSS daily. Carrying the cross is painful, not gladsome, you will feel pain, you will suffer… just ask Jesus!
Some false teachers of megachurches in America have made a habit of deceiving millions by preaching a positive, happy message and telling them that enough faith will guarantee them success in all aspects of their lives, including success in finding the best parking spaces, or in healing from all kinds of illnesses.
These false teachers will spend countless hours preaching the Bible, but without mentioning words like Hell, damnation, sin, the cross, the blood of Jesus, etc.
They will shame you into giving them your money every week by saying that you are sewing a godly seed. They will urge you to live a humble, simple, Jesus-like, modest life and not focus on the pleasures the world has to offer. However, they themselves live luxuriously and in full comfort, fly around in private jets, and reside in lavish, opulent mansions. These are the teachers whom Jesus calls, “snakes and brood of vipers.” Watch out for them!
My advice to you is this: whenever you are confused and you don’t know if a certain teacher is a false teacher or not, first ask God for wisdom as James tells us. Then, remember what Jesus said: “From their fruit you shall know them.”
Finally, remember that wolves don’t attack wolves; they always go after the weak and gullible sheep!
To know how to spot counterfeit currency, you must first know what the real currency looks like. Similarly, the only way to identify false teachings is to know the true teachings. To know and understand the true teachings, you must believe in truth first. Jesus said:“I AM THE TRUTH .”
Do you know the truth?
“One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”
APOLOGETICS - ARTICLES AND INFORMATION
- What is Apologetics?
- The Lost Truth
- Logic & Reasoning
- Truth & Reality
- Does God Exist?
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Design Argument
- The Moral Argument
- Who is Jesus?
- Satan’s Wish!
- God’s Dilemma!
- Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
- Does God Answer Prayers?
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Was Noah's Flood Real?
- Are Miracles Possible?
- The Apostle Peter
- Does Archaeology Support The Bible?
- Science & The Bible
- How Can Jesus be the only Way to Heaven?
- Don’t All World Religions Teach the Same Thing?
- Undesigned Coincidences
- Are All Men Created Equal?
- Is the Bible Really the Word of God?
- Amazing Bible Facts
- The Blind Atheists
- Jesus Meets Einstein
- Did the Gospel Writers Tell the Truth?
- The Evolution Fairytale
- The Day Common Sense Died!
- The Philosophy of Jesus
- The Report (Part 1)
- The Report (Part 2)
- Are All Religions True?
- Are There Contradictions in the Bible?
- Are All Religions True?
- Why Does God Allow Evil & Suffering?
- Bible Prophecy
- New Age Christianity
- The Wager
- When God Cried
- What Happened to America?
- Don’t All Good People Go to Heaven?
- Jesus at the United Nations
- False Teachers
- The Conference
- Jesus & the Woman at the Well
- The Day You face God
- Was Jesus Really Crucified?
- The Blind & the King
- Is Jesus God?
- The Meaning of Life
- Hero & the Fake
- The Insanity of Pluralism
- Who is God?
- The Tree of Good & Evil
- The Confused Agnostic
- Lazarus Come Forth!
- When God Seems Silent
- Case #1101
- The Proposal
- The Prayer
- Roman Catholicism
- Jesus Meets the Pope
- First Century Jesus
- The Patterns of False Religions
- Timid Christianity
WHERE DO I GO?
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