Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Dilemma of False Teaching, Part 1

In this sermon, Pastor Babij discusses the signs of a true prophet and warns against those claiming to be prophets today. False prophets’ teachings have no divine authority and distort God’s Word to fit those prophets’ own beliefs and desires. Pastor Babij reminds his listeners that prophets no longer exist today as Christians have God’s sure Word revealed in the Bible. Pastor Babij also outlines several ways to distinguish false teachers from the true teachers of God’s Word.

Full Transcript:

Lord, this morning as we again look at the Word of God and as we see the truth of Scripture, let us understand what is happening, that we can be ready, that we can be ready for anything that comes our way, any threat that comes our way, especially in the form of truth but yet it is false. We would be able to detect it, that our spiritual radar would be up. We would be strong in the faith and our understanding of the Word of God so Lord, we would not be duped by false teaching ever. I pray, Holy Spirit, You would help us in this matter as we continue to add to our faith. As we add these things, we would gain stability and strength in our true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

This morning, we’re going to be looking at the dilemma of false teaching. This is just part one of several parts because I want to lay a foundation in the Word of God about what it means to be a true prophet. Christians have been given, I’ve been saying this over again, everything pertaining to growing to life and godliness, as it says in 2 Peter. The Christians who are taking their spiritual life seriously and putting strenuous effort into it, they will develop spiritually. They will become strong. They will be adding the seven qualities of 2 Peter. Those who do and continuing it will not only become more holy and useful, will not only make themselves and the church more ready for the coming of Christ, they will also be more discerning in their present situation. What I mean by that – where they live right now in time. By the regular transformation of the mind, the will, and affections with the Scriptures, they will become strong because they know the Scripture is sure and therefore reliable. The Scriptures are light and therefore illuminating. The Scriptures are truth and therefore revealing. And the Scriptures are originated from God, and therefore they are trustworthy because of the source in which they come.

So by the Word of God, you will be more able to detect the threats to the church. You may ask: what threats? I’ve mentioned them already. Just as false prophets were a threat to the unity and purity of Israel, false teachers will also be a threat to the unity and purity of the church.

But if you notice in verse 1 of chapter 2, the little word “but” really links 2 Peter 2:1-3 to 2 Peter 1:19-21. And what did that say in verse 19 of chapter one? It says:

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Now the Bible is giving us really the bottom line of what it means to be a prophet. A real prophet, they are going to handle the Word of God and receive the Word of God as they ought to. Of course here, we find that in 2 Peter 2 1-3 and with 2 Peter 1:19-20, the prophetic message from God was given to the Old Testament prophets directly through the Holy Spirit. However, mingled in with true prophets are always false prophets and false teachers. For verse 1 of chapter 2:

But false prophets also arose among the people,

Now this word for false prophet is really one that refers the one who falsely claims to be a prophet and thus prophesies falsely. So here in this first part of the verse, it’s referring to the Old Testament prophets. The second part of the verse is referring to New Testament false teachers.

just as there will also be false teachers among you,

so he’s going from the Old Testament to the New Testament, and to when they live back then and when we live now. Before we move forward in this passage, let’s go back. Now the reason why I had you read some of the Old Testament passages is because I want to establish this morning: what is the definition of a true prophet? Let’s go back and let’s get a good sense of what a true prophet is and how they differ from the activities of false prophets.

You may want to turn to 2 Samuel chapter 7:1-8. I Probably won’t read all the verses but I want to highlight some things in these verses that all of you right now have in your mind what a prophet is. Now you have in your mind that a prophet is someone who predicts the future. But do you realize that a prophet may be a person who never tells the future? Another idea that maybe in your mind is that a prophet is a spokesman for a God. Well you would be right about that because the etymology of the word means spokesman, speaker on behalf of God. Prophet is also mentioned in the Old Testament as a seer. They’re the same thing, different word used. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that a prophet does not at times tell the future or that a prophet does not speak for God. What I want you to grasp is that a prophet is much more than this.

The question should be: what is true of all prophets, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament? Then we’ll really together discover a biblical definition of a prophet. You do need to look up some verses. I hope you’re looking at those verses in your Bible wherever you’re at and ask yourself while we’re looking at this passage: what is running through each verse concerning prophets? In 2 Samuel 7:1-8, notice this is the prophet Nathan in the Old Testament. It says in verse 1:

Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.”

And then notice in verses 4 and 5:

But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan,

Now Nathan didn’t study with God was going to say. He didn’t know what God was going to say, but he was a prophet of God. And so God spoke to the prophet. Notice, God doesn’t speak to the king David here. He speaks to the prophet. In verse five, notice what it says:

“Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in?

Now go down the verse eight. It says:

Now therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel.

That’s the first passage. You notice something in that passage, that several times when the Word of God came to the prophet, it says the prophet went to the person he was supposed to say too and says: thus says the Lord. The prophet didn’t say: hey listen, this what I think you should do. No, he says: this is what God says you should do. So that “thus says the Lord” gives us an indication of what a prophet is.

Now let’s look at another passage in 2 Samuel 24:10-12, but I’m not going to read the whole passage. Look down at verse 11. It says:

When David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad,

Now God is speaking to Gad the prophet. It says here about the prophet – David’s seer. So another word for prophet would be seer. Verse 12 says:

Go and speak to David,

look what it says:

Thus the Lord says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”

This is when David numbered the people and of course they got in trouble for that. He sinned against God for it. God says: judgment is going to have to come upon you. You choose one of three things. Of course he chose would God would choose because he felt that would be the better way to go, and it was, but notice here, Gad says to David: Thus says the Lord.

Now another passage in 1 Kings 21:17-19, but let’s go down. Verse 17 of 1 Kings chapter 21 says:

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite,

Elijah being a prophet too in the Old Testament. Look at verse 19. It says:

You shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lord, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”” And you shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lord, “In the place where the dogs lick up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.””

In other words, Elijah, being the prophet, goes and tells what the Lord has said. What do we find about a prophet in these passages? We find that a prophet is someone who says the others: “thus says the Lord”, not thus says me, or this is what I think, or this is the way I observe things. No, it says the Lord first speaks to the prophet. Then the prophet turns around and speaks to the people. In other words, God speaks directly to the prophet a direct revelation from God. And if that’s what a prophet is, then you would expect the word of God to speak towards a particular end of what God wanted to say through that particular prophet. See, there is always a prior situation when a prophet speaks. God never gives a word to the prophet for the prophet himself. God always gives a word to the prophet for the situation or for the person, like the king or the priests or the people of Israel or of Judah. God always speaks to his prophets for his people. The word of a loving God to His people is what a prophet is to the nation of Israel, to God’s particular people.

So God speaks when there’s usually a problem among His people, some crisis, some need, some issue that comes up. The whole prophetic ministry is a loving God meeting the needs of His people. God speaks direct revelation, but it is occasioned by and related to the need among God’s people. If God’s people need food, He would speak about food. If they need discipline, He will speak about sin and about repentance. If the people need hope, He usually speaks about the Messiah through the prophet. If they need encouragement, He will speak encouragement through the prophet.

So a prophet is a person to whom God gives this gift. Whenever there is a need, God speaks directly to that person that is the prophet, that in turn takes the message of God to the people. That is what the job of a prophet is.

That is what it says actually back in 2 Peter in verses 19 through 21, where it said that the word of God never had its origin in the impulse, the desire, the whim, or the will of man. They didn’t think it up themselves. The Word of God is never the product of human thoughts, genius, study, or cleverness. Divine revelation, given to its authors and their interpretation of it, was directed always by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit controlled every single word and ensured that every word that God wanted on that particular page when it was written, when it was spoken, when it was then written, that the very words He wanted to use were chosen and the thoughts He wanted to express were expressed exactly the way with God wanted to do it. That was the job of the prophet, to not mess it up, to not get it to the people in the wrong way, to not add his own conclusions to things, his own opinions to things, his own twist on things. He wasn’t to do that. He was to give it just the way God said it.

So all Scripture was super intended by the Holy Spirit and spoken through the prophets. Holy men – that’s the prophets. That’s the apostles. That’s the men God choose to speak through. Holy men were carried along by the Spirit, as it says in 2 Peter, like a sailing ship moved by the wind. The Spirit of God filled their sails in a sense, and they wrote Scripture. So all Scripture is God-breathed and divine. The Scriptures are the communication that God intended to give His people. That communication is ordained by God’s authority. Of course, it’s produced by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, as it says in 2 Timothy:

all Scripture is inspired of God…

Because the source of Scripture is God, it is:

profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Let me say it like this: the prophecies did not originate in the prophets’ own thinking, but from God’s mind. That’s always the case of a true prophet. Now if a true prophet is one who receives direct revelation from God, then a false prophet is someone God has not spoken to and yet they speak on His behalf. They tell the future, but it is not from God Himself. Instead, they usually get it from dreams and visions and from their own mind.

So at this point, I want to look again back at the Old Testament and look at really the three-fold description of false prophets’ activities. It’s really three-fold. A man named Bucam has actually identified these three, and I’m just expanding on them this morning, but they are true to the Old Testament. The first passage I want you to look at is Jeremiah chapter 23 verses 16 through 21.

Now the first point about the prophets’ activities is that they pretended their proclamation was good news. And while they did that, they avoided prophetic warnings or judgment and replace them with false promises of peace and security. That’s the same thing false teachers do today. They don’t want to give you the bad news. They don’t want to give you the negative news. They don’t want to tell you that God is going to judge something. They want you to know that you can be healthy, wealthy, and fine, and they avoid the whole message of God. That’s the danger and that’s usually what false prophets and teachers do. They leave things out, but they seem to have enough biblical information to be able to capture people’s attention. Look at what it says in Jeremiah 23:16:

Thus says the Lord of hosts,

There it is – Jeremiah, being a true prophet. But noticed what he says:

Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; they speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the Lord.

Now, look at verse 17. This is kind of their message:

They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace;”” And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, they say, ‘Calamity will not come up on you.’

Well look at verse 18:

But who has stood in the council of the Lord,

They surely haven’t.

That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?

Then noticed with Jeremiah says in verse 19. This is what God says:

Behold, the storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath, even a whirling tempest; it will swirl down on the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; in the last days you will clearly understand it.

Look at verse 21:

I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.

If Yahweh did not send these people to speak on His behalf, then that means they have no divine authority. These false prophets are saying peace and no calamity, and God is saying there will be wrath and there will be no peace. In other words, the prophet Jeremiah gives the whole message of God while the false prophets just pick and choose out of what they think about what they should say, especially that of a positive message and give it to the people. Yet it was not the message from God.

So the first thing is that they always pretend to proclaim the good news, but they avoid prophetic warnings and they usually replace it with false promises of peace and security.

A second activity of false prophets is that there is no divine authority behind their message. I mentioned that, but noticed in another passage. Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 18. This is when the people are going to go in the new land. Of course Deuteronomy really means a second view or a teaching on the law, but usually in a more practical way. So he’s saying: look when you go into the new land, when you get into that new land, you are going to be confronted with false prophets. This is what He says in 18:19-22:

It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in my name, I Myself will require it of him. But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

That means that the people who are listening to a false prophet or are in the earshot of a false prophet has to know the word of God enough and what God wants them to do to be able to detect whether someone is speaking on behalf of God when they’re not called to speak on behalf of God. In other words, they have no authority behind their message whatsoever. They think they speak for God, but actually they don’t speak for God. So that is the same true today.

A third activity of false prophets is that they were condemned by God for their lies. God did not let them get away with saying just any old thing to the people because that means that they may have a greater hearing with the false prophet than God’s prophets themselves. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 13 verses 1 through 5. Now, these passages are important and I wanted to lay them out before we look further into 2nd Peter. We have to know that today there’s a lot of confusion about what a real prophet is. People are everywhere claiming to be prophets. Are there even prophets today at all? That’s the question that will come up later.

But here in Deuteronomy 13, look at verse one. The point here is that they are condemned by God for their lies. It says:

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.

So here in Deuteronomy chapter 13, we see that God is testing His people also by someone who is claiming to be a real prophet of God, but when they say their prophecy, then they are telling the opposite of what God wants for His people. God uses this to test them, to see what’s in their own heart. Are you going to obey My word? Are you going to keep My commandments? Are you going to listen to My voice? Are you going to serve Me? Are you going to cling to Me? Or are you going to listen to all other voices vying for your attention? That’s the difference. Those who were sent by Yahweh were to be listened to. They were the true prophets. Those who were not sent by Yahweh, they were stoned to death. They were the false prophet.

So God clearly, clearly held them in judgment and condemned them before the people. I mean to be stoned to death is a pretty severe judgment, meaning that you have to rid this cancer out from your midst or it will take everything over.

Now that we have a really good idea of what a true prophet is and a description of a false prophet’s activities, we can get back to 2 Peter 2:1. I’m not going to get past verse number one. Matter of fact, I’m not going to get past the whole verse today because I want you to look back there to 2 Peter 2:1. It says there in verse one:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies,

Now, let me just stop there at that point. Here Peter uses the term not false prophets but false teachers. A false teacher is one who teaches what is not true. By the way, it is the only time this Greek word is used in the Bible, which indicates that there are no more direct revelation given to man by God, assuming, indicating that there are no more. After the church was laid with the teaching of the apostles and the new testament prophets, those particular gifts died off the scene. Now we see that there is no revelation given to man, no more direct revelation given to man because we have it all. We have God’s full revelation in the Old Testament and the apostolic teaching in the New Testament.

Now listen to this quote by Martin Lloyd Jones, a welsh pastor from the past who kind of summarized this thought well regarding prophecy. He says: once these New Testament documents (talking about the manuscripts) were written, the office of a prophet was no longer necessary. In the history of the church, trouble has arisen because people thought that they were prophets in the New Testament sense and that they had received special revelation of truth. The answer to that is that view of the New Testament Scriptures, there is no need of further truth. That is an absolute proposition. We have all the truth in the New Testament and we have no need for any revelations. All has been given. Everything that is necessary for us is available. Therefore, if any man claims to receive a revelation of some fresh truth, we should suspect him immediately. The need for prophets ends once we have the canon of the New Testament Scripture. We no longer need direct revelation of truth. The truth is in the Bible. That’s it.

That is an excellent, concise quote about what I’m talking about here and what Peter is reflecting here it to us in Scripture.

Why should anyone choose to deflect from what is true and and go off and follow a false teacher? Well, Timothy 4:1 really gives us the reason, because they will begin to pay attention to deceitful spirits. That is the style of teaching they will get exposed to. That is the style of teaching that will tickle their ears. This is the style of teaching that is actually the doctrine of demons. That is the source of the teaching, that the teaching comes from the pit of hell, by teaching that will be deceitfully displayed to people but it will be displayed as the truth.

So the great danger that faces the church, I would say that in every generation, maybe especially in our generation, is that there will be false teachers. As we approach the end time, there’s going to not only be more false teachers, but these teachers are going to gain an audience. As we move into 2 Peter chapter 2, we’re going to see that they deceive many people. There’s large groups of people that are going to follow them and they are going to gain an audience. But those who are discerning, and we definitely need discernment at this particular point in our study and at all the time as a believer, because these teachers are out there and they are out there in the large numbers and gaining larger and larger audiences because people are defecting from the truth. They’re going after teachers because they have itchy ears for something new and something fresh, and so they are out there.

The first particular point that I want to look at in 2 Peter is that we have to discern the threats of false teachers to the church. It is our responsibility to do that, all of God’s people. The use of the future tense that Peter uses in verses 1 through 3 is really pointing to the fact that just as false prophets were present in the past, the future arrival of false teachers is now here and the people of God must be ready for them. That is the point here. He gives actually 6 reasons to be armed against this threat. The first thing he says and the probably the one that I’m probably going to stop at this morning after I get done with it, is this in verse one: false teachers cleverly teach destructive heresies. It says:

who will secretly introduce destructive heresies,

These teachers bring in subtle deviations from the truth. They will infiltrate with clever false ideas into groups of real believers. And that means the attack is not from the outside. The attack is from the inside. Isn’t that what Paul said to the people when he had to leave them in Acts chapter 20, where he says:

I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;

They don’t care about the flock. They care about themselves. Verse 30 of Acts 20 says:

and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

See, we have to be skilled enough, our ears have to be intuned enough to the word of God, that we have been listening to a proper understanding of truth, that when we hear something off, automatically the antennas go up. The radar goes on to say: that doesn’t sound right. How come it doesn’t sound right? And you go back to the word of God and you’re running through Scripture. In other words, their words that they speak do not square with the Bible. That is where you begin to put up a defense against the threat.

The term in our passage “secretly” has the idea of creeping along under some sort of cover. These teachers were not hiding their teaching, but were really covering up the degree to which their teaching differed from the apostolic teaching. That’s what we have to be grounded in. We have to be grounded in the teaching of the authoritative apostles that have been given to the church and have now taken the word of God, written it down. That’s what we’re to study. We don’t need any more revelation. What they are introducing is not that easy to catch because it is packaged in Christian lingo. It’s not easy to catch especially if you are not familiar with Scripture and a sound understanding of it.

That means young Christians are going to be vulnerable to this. People who haven’t been adding to their faith, the things in 2 Peter there, and becoming stable in their faith, they’re going to be vulnerable to these things. We’re talking about real believers being vulnerable to false teaching. However, their teaching does not have a sanctifying effect, but has a destructive effect because that’s what it says:

who will secretly introduce destructive heresies,

What they introduce is not healthy because they’re teaching aims at denying essential doctrines ultimately, like the trinity, and the deity of Christ, and the person of Christ as recorded in Scripture, the substitutionary atonement, the resurrection, the return of Christ. We were going to find out that they were not even believing the return of Christ and and therefore teaching everything is the same as it was from the beginning. Nothing’s changed. Well, that’s not true at all because they don’t read the Scripture. They don’t study the Scripture and get God’s message. They mess it up and put all their own stuff in. They add to it. They take away from it. They twist it from what is already written in scripture.

The noun form of the word “heresy” carries the meaning of a view or an opinion, a doctrine that one chooses for one’s self and thereby separate one’s self from the whole body of those who choose to believe differently. In other words, they do choose to believe differently. They take a different way, a different spin on what they are looking at from Scripture.

Walter Martin, who wrote “Kingdom of the Cults”, great little book, actually a large book. He said this: it is possible for Jehovah Witnesses, a Christian scientist, or a Mormon, for example, to utilize the terminology of Biblical christianity with absolute freedom, having already resigned these terms in a theological framework of his own making and to his own liking, but almost always at direct variance with historically accepted meanings of terms. This is what you have to do all the time. They’re sounding like biblical Christians, but their terms are all defined in their own way, not in biblical way, but in their own way. So their teachings then are damning. They’re destructive. They pervert and falsify the way of truth and lead to eternal damnation in hell.

Now, I was a Roman Catholic before I became Christian. The Lord open my eyes to see, brought me to the word of God to see what He has taught. If we take the example of Roman Catholicism, we’ll see that Roman Catholicism has numerous numerous heresies within their doctrine. What they do is they exalt Mary to the rank of co-redemptrix as a Savior equal to Christ. They claim a priests that can turn a wafer and wine into the body, the blood, the soul, the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ in the repeated unbloody sacrifice of the mass. You won’t find that in Scripture. Matter of face, if they read the book of Hebrews, they would have to debunk all of that and throw it all out. It offers also if a price of money is paid to get people out of their made up doctrine of purgatory and into heaven. Don’t know how long you are going to spend there. Don’t know how long you’re going to burn off the things. But it is definitely affront to the finished and complete work of Christ on the cross. That is just one thing to throw out to you and it has been of course a bur in my saddle ever since I’ve been a believer because they use also biblical terms with different definitions. They mean different things when we talked to them. We seem to have similar language, but we don’t.

Let me just move on to another one that is more up-to-date, at least for us today. We as Christians are to discern who are Christ’s real disciples and accept them, but we also have to keep in mind that we never are relieved from the responsibility to discern the spirits or what’s going on. We are to be always discerning. We must be aware that there are those who pirate the name of Jesus Christ for evil purposes. One movement that is definitely gaining ground today is the movement of the word of faith movement. The old charismatic movement really has been less than a hundred years old. The new apostolic reformation movement, one of the main areas of the movement is that there are still apostles and there are still prophets. Now brethren, there are a multitude of false teachers, both men and women, who are preaching a false gospel in these movements.

I want to mention one this morning. And if not, I will just get back to that next week. There are some criticisms that the word of faith movement has when it comes to their own people or their own teachers and their own prophets. The first criticism they have is this: you shall not judge. They take Matthew 7:1-5 and they say that you are not to judge those who are prophets and teachers. You’re not the judge them. You don’t have the ability to judge them. And yet, the Bible tells us in that same passage of Scripture, it really is telling us that we are to judge. But we’re to judge without being a hypocrite. It means not to judge hypocritically. We are to be cautious when we do judge others. We have to be careful in judging others. And of course we have to exercise discernment with biblical parameters. But at the same time they say not to judge, and the Bible is really saying: no, you ought to judge with discernment.

What specific Scripture tells Christians that they are to be discerning? Well, 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says:

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.

When you do that, you are going to be one who is able to test everything. So discernment of what? Discernment of truth and falsehood, discernment of what is good and what is evil, discernment of right and wrong. And then once we discern it, we’re to hold fast that which is good and true and we’re to abstain from that which is evil and not true. In doing so, the apostle John told us that we are to test the spirits. In 1 John 4:1:

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.

So we are to test everything, the words of the teaching, and compare them to the objective standard of the word of God. Then we are to realize that these imitations and deceptions are from Satan and he is behind the words and the deeds and the appearances. Even Matthew 24:24 says:

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

Again, these are destructive heresies that want to divide, split, and cause havoc in the church. And we are to exposed fraudulent leaders and teachers, whether they’re on the radio, whether on the internet. Because of the speed of communication and of all the publications that are out there, the error is actually spreading quickly. So we have to be ready to judge those things to see whether something is true or something is false.

Now, I guess because of the time, I have to leave it right there this morning. I’m going to pick that up next week as we look further into it says in Scripture about the other reasons that we are to be ready against this threat and be prepared for it because it is amongst us. But until then, let’s pray.

Lord, thank You again for Your kindness to give us the truth, that we can actually know what the truth is. I pray Lord that we would always stay close to the word of God because we know in it is contained Your word. Your word has been given to us and specifically and carefully laid down and protected throughout the ages, that we know we have the authoritative word of God for all life and godliness. And so Lord, make us believers that are discerning and that know what we believe, know where it is in Scripture, and be able to stand on those things and be able to delineate between what is true and what is false. Give us that determine today, Lord. I pray this in Your name. Amen.