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How can I know a false teacher?
TRUE Christians are NOT standing up NOR speaking out against false teachers. The apostles exposed false teachers by name in order to protect God's people . . . shouldn't we do the same? There are no "apostles" in today's world, but there are disciples! All disciples are believers . . . but NOT all believers are disciples! IF we are a disciple (learner of Christ), we must speak up against false doctrines and false teachers!
You must open your eyes to the TRUTH! If you have been deceived by these "wells without water, clouds carried by tempest, for whom is reserved the blackest darkness forever" (2 Peter 2:17), STOP following men and follow JESUS! Your eternal future depends on it!
Let me say this: NOT everything false teachers say and teach is false. The devil is powerful and very wise. He knows if his demons and children teach all falsehoods, no one would listen. So, they teach in such a deceptive way that they seduce, if it were possible, even the elect (Mark 13:22). I do know that every person I have mentioned teaches a doctrine that COULD damn you to Hell IF you believe it. A false teacher does teach some Biblical Truths, but also falsehoods that are damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1).
More and more false teachers are emerging, and being accepted! A professor in a Christian college, a pastor that yells at his flock every week but then gets caught in adultery without any remorse, a "gay" pastor readily accepted by his/her flock.
These false teachers are really likeable and persuasive. Many appear to be a normal person, but soon you realize that they also think quite a lot of themselves. False prophets can easily rise out of a church. They prey on the needy and the unsure.
Many Christians look and listen to false teachers and are caught off guard. The only problem is that many think they never will be. Many do not realize that they have been fooled. Christians can get blindsided by the false teachers if they are not careful. You must always be aware of Biblical doctrines. Only then will you be able to see the heresies of these wolves (devils)!
You would be surprised how many pastors are actually false teachers . . . and most of these are very popular. NEVER take for granted what a pastor says . . . ALWAYS check out what he has said with the Word of God (Acts 17:11). If you choose not to study it yourself, you are in a dangerous place. The reason that these wicked people are so highly effective is that they are able convince us otherwise. Do not be a person who is convinced into non-Biblical things . . . commandments of men (Mat.15:9; Mark 7:7).
The subject of false teachers is absolutely a biblical matter of grave importance. Many in the religious world de-emphasize doctrine and Truth. More and more, in churches is down playing the importance of purity and necessity of sound doctrine.
We are to choose the Truth, learn it, and walk in it (Ps. 119: 30; I Tim. 2: 4; 2 Jn. 4). Love of Truth, speaking the Truth, and handling aright the Truth is also required (2 Thes. 2: 10-12; Eph. 4: 15; 2 Tim. 2: 15). The truth is to be obeyed from the heart, dwell in the Christian, and the Christian is to be established in the Truth (Rom. 6: 17, 18; 2 Jn. 2; Col. 1: 23). Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8: 24).
We must NEVER resist, err, or work against the truth (2 Tim. 3: 8; Jas. 5: 19, 20; Phil. 3: 18). The Truth is valuable, it must not be sold, concealed, or changed in any way (Prov. 23: 23; Ps. 40: 10; Rom. 1: 25, Gal. 1: 6-9). To resist the Truth is to resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7: 51-53).
False teachers are tolerated, even readily accepted. "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" (2 Pet. 2: 1).
The bottom line is: You CAN know what a man is teaching. And you are obligated to KNOW his teaching in order to fellowship him (2 Jn. 9-11).
"Whosoever trangresseth, 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" (2 Jn. 9-11).
We must respect and love the Truth and those who are faithful to teach it (I Pet. 4: 11). BUT, those who teach false doctrine must be marked and avoided (Rom. 16: 17).
False teachers are impostors teaching false doctrines that are dangerous to your soul!
Matthew 24:24-25 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold, I have told you before. (KJV) Jesus gives us a clear warning! The best way to guard yourself against false doctrines and and false teachers is to know the Truth. To recognize a wolf in sheep's clothing, is to study the Bible. Any TRUE believer who rightly divides the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15), and who checks out the person's message with the Word of God shall KNOW any false doctrine.
Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
(KJV) This is one example: a believer who has read the account of Jesus' baptism, where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all participate, will immediately question ANY doctrine that denies the Trinity. We must study the Bible and judge ALL teaching by what the Scripture says.
Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
(KJV) Jesus said that we will know a tree by his fruit. What kind of fruit should we look for? Below are three specific tests to apply to ANY teacher (me included) to determine the accuracy of his or her teaching:
#1 What does this preacher or teacher say about Jesus? In Matthew 16:15, Jesus asks Peter, “Whom say ye that I am?” Peter answers, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (KJV)
2 John 1:9
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.
(KJV) Christ Jesus and His Work of redemption is of UTMOST importance! BEWARE of anyone who denies that Jesus is equal with God, or who reduces the importance of Jesus’ substitutionary death, or who rejects Jesus’ humanity.
1 John 2:22-23 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (KJV)
#2 Does this preacher or teacher preach the Gospel? The Gospel is the good news concerning Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Many today bring nice sounding statements such as: “God is a God of love, He loves you,” “God wants you to have good health,” “God wants you to be wealthy,” “There is no Hell,” “Everyone will go to Heaven.” ALL these messages are either very deceptive or absolutely false. They are NOT the complete message of the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ! The apostle Paul warns in Galatians 1:7, “There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” No one, not even a great preacher, has the right to change the message that God gave us.
2 Cor. 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.(KJV)
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.(KJV) BEWARE!! Another Jesus and another Gospel will put you into HELL!
#3 Does the preacher or teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord? Or do they glorify self?
Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (KJV) False teachers can be recognized by his/her pride (Cain’s rejection of God’s plan), greed (Balaam’s prophesying for money), and rebellion (Korah’s promotion of himself over Moses). 2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (KJV) They resemble flood waters, scurrying recklessly after money.
For some books of the Bible that were written specifically to combat false teaching: Galatians, 2 Peter, 2 John, and Jude. It is often difficult to recognize a false teacher or false prophet.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (KJV) Jesus rightly called them “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Satan and his demons masquerade as “angels of light” (2 Cor.11:14), and his ministers masquerade as servants of righteousness (2 Cor.11:15). Only by being thoroughly familiar with the Truth of God's Holy Word will we be able to recognize a counterfeit . . . a WOLF! Beware!!!
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