On a regular basis one of the most recognizable “Bible teachers”, Joyce Meyer, mentions her disdain for those that call out false teachers and false preachers. “We all have error,” she says. “We all have something wrong,” she (ignorantly) professes. She goes on to condemn the acts of those that would dare to point out the profane and vain babblings presented by those that claim to teach God’s word, never once considering or mentioning that Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Peter, Paul, James, and even Jesus regularly pointed out the fallacies, erroneous, practices, and personality traits of false teachers. Many take her at her word, but as alluded, a careful review of scripture still remains on the table for many.
Is Meyer right? Do we all have error? Are we all embracing teachings that we need to renounce? I have a better question…. If anyone is embracing false teaching, WHAT SHOULD THEY DO ABOUT IT?!?!? I have another question…. DOESN’T FALSE TEACHING QUALIFY AS A LIE?!?! I have another question…. ISN’T THE DEVIL THE FATHER OF LIES?!?!?! Bear with me. for I have another question…. IF SOMEONE IS EMBRACING A LIE, AREN’T THEY NOW CONNECTED TO THE FATHER OF LIES?!?!? Okay, last one (for now)…. Are we to tolerate preachers and teachers that teach lies?
The answers to the questions I presented are quite clear. They also lead us to our main premise for this brief exhortation concerning what proves to be the most overlooked taboo subject in scripture among professing Christians — FALSE PROPHETS! Many feel like Joyce Meyer (and they live like her, too). They think this subject should be avoided. They think this subject is off limits. They think that it’s wrong to expose. THEY COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. To prove my point, let’s take a simple tour of passages in the New Testament addressing the topic of false preachers and teachers (and by the way, a “prophet” is a preacher), as well as the danger of entertaining the simplest of false statements. Ready to review the list? Here goes:
- (Matthew 5:19-20) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- (Matthew 6:1-6) Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
- (Matthew 7:15-20) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
- (Matthew 15:7-9, 12-14) Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
- (Matthew 24:4-5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
- (Acts 20:29-30) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
- (Romans 16:17-18) Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
- (Galatians 1:8-9) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
- (Galatians 5:7-12) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
- (Ephesians 5:6) Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
- (Philippians 3:2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
- (1 Timothy 6:3-8) If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
- (2 Timothy 2:15-18) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
- (2 Timothy 3:6-8) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
- (Titus 1:10-11) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
- (2 Peter 2:1-3) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
- (2 Peter 3:1-5) This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water….
- (1 John 2:18-19) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
- (2 John 9-11) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Just considering a few, however, begs the question… with this topic being presented so often in the New Testament (and there’s more in the Old Testament), why is it that Meyer says the things she says and why is it that these passages of scripture are mentioned rarely or not at all in the vast, vast majority of churches attended by professing Christians???!!! Folks, faith (which is also marked by obedience) comes by hearing and hearing by God’s word. We can only keep what we know and understand. Without hearing, knowing, and understanding, there will be no fruit. Hence, avoidance of the taboo topic of false prophets and false teachers leaves those that don’t hear in harm’s way.
Mathew 16:6 lets us know that just because someone is in a position of leadership, alone, does not merit their being heard or supported. After all, there’s no more advantageous place for the enemy to reside for the purpose of fostering failure than in church leadership. For those that don’t know, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 13:3, God allows false prophets and false teachers to operate to prove His people. God allows them to operate in order to validate and confirm one’s love for Him. Those that only love God in word, will fall short in deed. Those that only profess to love God will fall at the feet of false prophets and give them honor. Therefore, I challenge you today. Consider the above-mentioned scriptures. Seek God for wisdom and understanding concerning them. Ask God to help you to bring forth fruit concerning these matters.
You may be EXTREMELY surprised at what you discover.
Until next time, keep the word and be blessed!