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Twenty Characteristics of False Teachers Embraced by the False Church

Twenty Characteristics of False Teachers
Embraced by the False Church



by Brannon Howse ©



The following is an excerpt from Brannon's book Religious Trojan Horse

Click here for more details on Brannon's new hardcover book and e-book from which this article originated

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1.     False teachers are insincere and use God's word for personal gain.


2 Corinthians 2:17-For we are not like the many who market God's message for profit. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God (HCSB).


 


2.     False teachers appeal to the flesh and sin nature of people


 


2 Peter 2:18-For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.


 


­"Actually escaped"" is better translated "trying to escape or barely escaping." These are often people who are not saved and seek through man-centered efforts to escape the consequences of their sinful lives, only to be deceived by false teachers.


 


3.     False teachers deliberately take scripture out of context to attract a following.

Acts: 20:30-Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.


 


4.     False teachers have a form of godliness but deny God.


 


2 Timothy 3:5-having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!


 


5.     False teachers openly reject truth.


 


2 Timothy 4:4-and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.


 


6.     False teachers willingly embrace unbiblical philosophies.


 


2 Timothy 4:4-and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.


 


The word "fables" refers to philosophies.


 


Colossians 2:8-Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.


 


7.     False teachers are arrogant and self-righteous.


2 Timothy 3:2-5-But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!


 


8.     False teachers embrace mysticism.


 


Colossians 2:18-Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,…


 


9.     False teachers sound educated and use persuasive words, but they speak error.


 


Colossians 2:4-Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.


Colossians 2:8-Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.


 


10.                      False teachers are flippant in their attitude toward and dealings with demons.


 


2 Peter 2:9-12-then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.


Jude 8-9-Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 


 


Many scholars believe these "dignitaries" are fallen angles or demons.


 


Notice that Jude tells us Michael the archangel himself would not accuse Satan about the body of Moses. If Michael the archangel did not rail against Satan, should we? Rather, our response is found in Zechariah 3:2, where we read the Angel of Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you." James 4:7 offers a similar response-Therefore submit to God.


 


To submit to God means to line up under His authority. A Christian who lines up under God's authority can resist or take a stand knowing that he or she is secure under God's authority and protection. The result is that the devil flees.


 


We are not called to bind Satan. Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation members use Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 out of context, verses that actually have nothing to do with binding Satan or demons but, instead, with the issue of church discipline.


 


Luke 11:22 is also another verse often taken out of context. The "strong man" in this verse is Satan, but the stronger man is Jesus Christ (not us) Who defeated Satan through his death, burial and resurrection.


 


11.                      False teachers promise liberty or freedom from spiritual bondage, but they are themselves in bondage as children and servants of Satan.


 


2 Peter 2:19-While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.


 


12.                      False teachers have heard the gospel but reject it.


 


2 Peter 2:20-21-For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.


 


13.                      False teachers embrace moralizing.


 


2 Peter 2:20-22-For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world [through moralizing and man-centered efforts] through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."


 


In Matthew 12:43-45, Jesus tells a parable about the dangers of moralizing. When an unbeliever seeks to clean up his or her life without the Gospel message of faith and repentance, the person can end up in a worse condition than before attempting self-improvement through man-centered methods.


 


14.                      False teachers rise from within the church, and others seek to infiltrate the true church.


 


2 Peter 2:1-But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.


Jude 4-For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.


Acts: 20:30-Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.


 


15.                      False teachers cause personal and doctrinal division within the church.


 


Romans 16:17-Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.


Jude 19-These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.


1 Corinthians 11:18-There must be division among you to know who is approved of God.


 


16.                      False teachers preach a different Jesus, and demons can take on the form of their false gods.


 


2 Corinthians 11:3-4-But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-you may well put up with it!


1 Corinthians 10:20-Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.


 


17.                      Some false teachers perform signs and wonders through demonic power.


 


Matthew 24:24-For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.


 


True believers will not follow a false shepherd or false teachers. John 10:4-5-And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.


False teachers can be demonically controlled and used to perform signs and wonders. Exodus 7:10-11-So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.


 


18.                      False teachers are part of God's judgment on a people and nation.


 


1 Kings 22:21-23-Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, "I will persuade him." The Lord said to him, "In what way?" So he said, "I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets." And the Lord said, "You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so." Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.


2 Thessalonians 2:11-The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.


 


19.                      False teachers can be a test from God of our faithfulness as well as a way to reveal true and false converts.


 


Deuteronomy 13:3-you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.


 


20.                      False teachers deny the deity of Jesus Christ.


 


1 John 4:2-4-By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.


 


When a false teacher redefines God, as do the Word of Faith Movement (also known as prosperity preachers), New Apostolic Reformation, Neo-evangelicals, Mormons, New Agers, and the Emergent Church, they no longer speak of the God of the Bible. Thus they are denying the deity of Jesus Christ. If God is re-defined, so is Jesus, Who is God incarnate.


 


Many within the Word of Faith Movement and NAR teach that Jesus has not always existed as part of the triune God but was created by God as a separate entity in order to come to earth. This teaching denies the deity of Jesus Christ. It is the ancient heresy of Arianism, named after Arius, its most prominent advocate, who died in 336 A.D.