Did you understand what you read?
- How can you recognize a false teacher?
- Why must we do the will of the Father?
- If a person preaches in the name of Jesus, does this prove he is not a false teacher? How do you know this?
- What is the difference between those whom the wise man represents and the those whom the foolish man represents?
False teachers have been a problem since the world began. Eve was led into sin by the false statements of Satan. Jeremiah complained to God about the false prophets of his day. Paul had numerous problems with Judaizing teachers. Therefore we must expect to find false teachers today. Peter warns us about these teachers in II Peter 2:1-3.
First off, we need to understand what is false teaching. False teachers tell their listeners things that they want to hear (II Timothy 4:3-4, Jeremiah 5:30-31). False teaching feels good, just like a cat feels when it is being rubbed behind the ears. The truth will make us uncomfortable at times because it shows us when we don't measure up to God's standard. God's word is like a fire to the chaff of wheat or a hammer that breaks apart rocks (Jeremiah 23:28-29). However, a false teacher doesn't want to lose his following and will teach whatever is necessary to keep his followers happy. False teachers teach the delusions of their minds (Jeremiah 14:14, Jeremiah 23:25-26). They may have fertile imaginations, but their ideas do not come from God. If a false teacher doesn't make up his own doctrine, he may expound on the teachings of other men (Matthew 15:9). False teachers will often quote the works of other men instead of turning to God's word. Some will go so far as to cast doubt on the truth of the Word of God (II Peter 2:1-2).
We also need to understand what motivates false teachers. Some teach falsely out of ignorance (I Timothy 1:3-7). They simply have not learned what God has taught on a given topic either accidentally or intentionally. Many false teachers are in this line of business for personal profit (Titus 1:11).
The most important thing that we must understand as Christians is how to recognize a false teacher. A false teacher leads men away from God (Jeremiah 23:22). They inspire their listeners with a sense of false security (Ezekiel 13). Evil deeds are whitewashed to appear as something holy (Ezekiel 22:23-31). The actions of false teachers are not in accordance with God's will (Matthew 7:15-23). False teachers cause strife (I Timothy 6:3-5). Supposed miracles and signs are not proof that a teacher is from God (Mark 13:21-23). Even false teachers use some truth, but their truth is not complete and is twisted.
- List some modern-day teachers who:
- Teach what people want to hear.
- Teach delusions of their own minds.
- Teach the doctrine of men.
- Teach against belief in the Bible.
- Give the warning signs that you should notice that a person you have met is a false teacher.