Verses that Tell Us About Looking Out for False Teachings.

When the disciples asked Jesus, what would be the signs in the world just before His return, one of His first comments was to warn them about being mislead.

Mat 24:4-5 NET.  Jesus answered them, "Watch out that no one misleads you.  (5)  For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will mislead many.

Those wanting to get a following will even go to the point of saying that they are "The Christ". Obviously others will be a little more subtle, but still offer their followers a mixture of truth and error - in other words, a false form of Christianity - or a counterfeit Christianity.

Act 20:30 NET.  Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them.

People will go to great lengths to hide what is their real agenda.

2Co 11:13-15 NET.  For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  (14)  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  (15)  Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.

Sorting out the true from the false.

Being able to pick a preacher that is teaching a mixture of truth and error, before he can begin to influence you, is essential if we are going to survive the upheavals coming to the world before Christ returns. We can't afford to waste energy on things that aren't true.

However, it is not easy for the beginner. My advice is to test the person/group with - at least - the following checks BEFORE you start to believe anyone.

Christ gave us the clue we need, to be able to check out religious leaders - or want-to-be leaders.

Mat 7:15-16 NET.  "Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves.  (16)  You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they?

We are to look at the "fruit" (character, works, method of operation, accuracy in quoting the Bible, and so on).

Mat 7:21 NET.  "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven — only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

1. God's will.

We need to ask "what is motivating the religious teacher?".

It is not God's will for men to "create" a following after themselves (Mat 20:25-28). Yes, people will want to follow a true teacher of God's truth, but they do it because they see the good fruit, not because they have had their "heart-strings" pulled with slick or emotive  messages. If a group has a "strong" leader who is telling people what they can or can't do - then stay out of it. A true leader will explain God's teaching, and then leave it up to the person in how they apply it.

A true teacher will teach the truth for free (Mat 8:8-11). A false teacher will want money, but may be selective about who they will accept it from. That said - some excellent books/material is for sale from religious groups. Some groups specialize in certain points of truth (such as creation at "") while having other major doctrines wrong. If you can separate out the truth, paying money for good material from such groups can be helpful, but real truth should come with no strings attached..

2. One God.

A true teacher will accept the over 150 verses in the Bible that state - or support the statement - that there was, and is, and will be, only one God.

A false teacher will say that Jesus was a "God", or a "God-person" of the Trinity.

3. Keep the Commandments.

I have mentioned the First Commandment (worship only one God) but all the Commandments must be kept by Christians (Mat 5:19).

The Fourth Commandment is not called the "test commandment" for nothing. If they don't keep/teach the Friday sunset to Saturday sunset Sabbath (the fourth commandment), then the fruit is not going to be good. Some groups do keep the correct Sabbath, but then fail on other tests, so be careful to apply ALL the tests for good fruit.

4. Keep the Lev 23 Holy Days.

If people do not keep God's Holy Days, then they will not have a complete understanding of the plan of God - outlined by the seven Holy Day periods.

5. Not all the Bible is inspired by God.

If a person or group claim that every verse of the Bible has been inspired by God - then you KNOW they do not have good fruits. Many verses are just the words of men, and great care needs to be exercised in sorting out which is which. The words recorded as SPOKEN by God are by and far the most important. (Most of those are in the Old Testament).

The words passed on from God by the Prophets - and Jesus was a prophet (Deut 18:18, Mat 13:57, Acts 3:19-23) - are also more important than the words of men.

6. How do they treat "outsiders"?

The Salvation Army has this much right - they will help anyone in need.

Jesus did mention that someone choosing to keep God's Commandments, could cause division/strife in a family - but keeping someone at arms length should not be initiated  by the believers (except in dire cases).  In the fine print of a believer's contract with God, is the instruction to get along with ALL people - as best you can. A Christian should trying to be a (silent) light to the family and their own friends. We are not to be taken out of the world (John 17:15,18) - we are to live in in it and learn to resist following the bad conduct of others.

7. Baptism should only be for adults who understand the implications.

Any church/group who practices child baptism does not understand what is involved in the "birth by water" that Jesus spoke about in John 3. All living humans have experienced the "born by blood" (birth), but only by understanding what is involved in our "born by water" (baptism)  can we prepare for our being "born by the spirit" (resurrection).

Over 40 verses warn us about false teachers.

Following is a list of some of the verses that talk about being watchful for false teachers, or warn us that there are many deceitful people in the world, who will do almost anything to create a following for their own ego.

Isa 9:15
Isa 9:15 NET.  The leaders and the highly respected people are the head,  the prophets who teach lies are the tail.

Isa 30:10Isa 30:10 NET.  They say to the visionaries, "See no more visions!"
    and to the seers, "Don't relate messages to us about what is right!
    Tell us nice things,  relate deceptive messages. [this is still happening today]
Jer 14:14,15Jer 14:14-15 NET.  Then the LORD said to me, "Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! I did not send them. I did not commission them. I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, and the delusions of their own mind.  (15)  I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, 'No war or famine will happen in this land.' But I, the LORD, say this about them: 'War and starvation will kill those prophets.'

Jer 23:14Jer 23:14 NET.  But I see the prophets of Jerusalem
    doing something just as shocking.
    They are unfaithful to me
    and continually prophesy lies.
    So they give encouragement to people who are doing evil,
    with the result that they do not stop their evildoing.
    I consider all of them as bad as the people of Sodom,
    and the citizens of Jerusalem as bad as the people of Gomorrah.
Jer 23:21Jer 23:21 NET.  I did not send those prophets.
    Yet they were in a hurry to give their message.
    I did not tell them anything.
    Yet they prophesied anyway.
Jer 23:25-26
Jer 23:25-26 NET.  The LORD says, "I have heard what those prophets who are prophesying lies in my name are saying. They are saying, 'I have had a dream! I have had a dream!'  (26)  Those prophets are just prophesying lies. They are prophesying the delusions of their own minds.

Jer 27:9-10
Jer 27:9-10 NET.  So do not listen to your prophets or to those who claim to predict the future by divination, by dreams, by consulting the dead, or by practicing magic. They keep telling you, 'You do not need to be subject to the king of Babylon.'  (10)  Do not listen to them, because their prophecies are lies. Listening to them will only cause you to be taken far away from your native land. I will drive you out of your country and you will die in exile.

Jer 27:14-15
Jer 27:14-15 NET.  Do not listen to the prophets who are telling you that you do not need to serve the king of Babylon. For they are prophesying lies to you.  (15)  For I, the LORD, affirm that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you. If you listen to them, I will drive you and the prophets who are prophesying lies out of the land and you will all die in exile."

Jer 28:15Jer 28:15 NET.  Then the prophet Jeremiah told the prophet Hananiah, "Listen, Hananiah! The LORD did not send you! You are making these people trust in a lie!
Jer 29:8-9Jer 29:8-9 NET.  "For the LORD God of Israel who rules over all says, 'Do not let the prophets or those among you who claim to be able to predict the future by divination deceive you. And do not pay any attention to the dreams that you are encouraging them to dream.  (9)  They are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. But I did not send them. I, the LORD, affirm it!'
Jer 29:21Jer 29:21 NET.  "The LORD God of Israel who rules over all also has something to say about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. 'I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and he will execute them before your very eyes.
Jer 29:31Jer 29:31 NET.  "Send a message to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, 'The LORD has spoken about Shemaiah the Nehelamite. "Shemaiah has spoken to you as a prophet even though I did not send him. He is making you trust in a lie.
Ezek 13:6-7Eze 13:6-7 NET.  They see delusion and their omens are a lie. They say, "the LORD declares," though the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their word to be confirmed.  (7)  Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, "the LORD declares," although I myself never spoke?
Ezek 13:22-23Eze 13:22-23 NET.  This is because you have disheartened the righteous person with lies (although I have not grieved him), and because you have encouraged the wicked person not to turn from his evil conduct and preserve his life.  (23)  Therefore you will no longer see false visions and practice divination. I will rescue my people from your power, and you will know that I am the LORD.' "
Micah 3:11Mic 3:11 NET.  Her leaders take bribes when they decide legal cases,
    her priests proclaim rulings for profit,
    and her prophets read omens for pay.
    Yet they claim to trust the LORD and say,
    "The LORD is among us.
    Disaster will not overtake us!"
Zec 10:2Zec 10:2 NET.  For the household gods have spoken wickedness, the soothsayers have seen a lie, and as for the dreamers, they have disclosed emptiness and give comfort in vain. Therefore the people set out like sheep and become scattered because they have no shepherd.
Mat 7:15
Mat 7:15 NET.  "Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves.

Mat 24:5Mat 24:5 NET.  For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will mislead many.
Mat 24:11Mat 24:11 NET.  And many false prophets will appear and deceive many,
Mat 24:23-24Mat 24:23-24 NET.  Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe him.  (24)  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:5-6Mar 13:5-6 NET.  Jesus began to say to them, "Watch out that no one misleads you.  (6)  Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and they will mislead many.
Mark 13:21-22
Mar 13:21-22 NET.  Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'Look, there he is!' do not believe him.  (22)  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, the elect.

Luke 21:8Luk 21:8 NET.  He said, "Watch out that you are not misled. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them!
Acts 8:9-10Act 8:9-10 NET.  Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great.  (10)  All the people, from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, "This man is the power of God that is called 'Great.' "
Acts 20:29-30
Act 20:29-30 NET.  I know that after I am gone fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  (30)  Even from among your own group men will arise, teaching perversions of the truth to draw the disciples away after them.
2 Cor 11:13-14
2Co 11:13-14 NET.  For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  (14)  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Eph 4:14Eph 4:14 NET.  So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.
Eph 5:6Eph 5:6 NET.  Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God's wrath comes on the sons of disobedience.
Col 2:8Col 2:8 NET.  Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Col 2:18Col 2:18 NET.  Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind.
2 Thes 2:3-42Th 2:3-4 NET.  Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.  (4)  He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat  in God's temple, displaying himself as God.
2 Thes 2:9-112Th 2:9-11 NET.  The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan's working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders,  (10)  and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved.  (11)  Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.
1 Tim 4:1-21Ti 4:1-2 NET.  Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings,  (2)  influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.
2 Pet 2:1-32Pe 2:1-3 NET.  But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. These false teachers will infiltrate your midst with destructive heresies, even to the point of denying the Master who bought them. As a result, they will bring swift destruction on themselves.  (2)  And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. Because of these false teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.  (3)  And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation pronounced long ago is not sitting idly by; their destruction is not asleep.
2 Pet 3:172Pe 3:17 NET.  Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth.
1 John 2:181Jn 2:18 NET.  Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour.
1 John 2:261Jn 2:26 NET.  These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
1 John 4:11Jn 4:1 NET.  Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
JudeJud 1:4 NET.  For certain men have secretly slipped in among you — men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe — ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Rev 13:5-9Rev 13:5-9 NET.  The beast was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months.  (6)  So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God — to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  (7)  The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation,  (8)  and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed.  (9)  If anyone has an ear, he had better listen!
Rev 19:20Rev 19:20 NET.  Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf — signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur.

Bob Orchard June 2012

While this information is made freely available (Mat 10:8b) , and can be printed out, it is done with the understanding that there will only be fair and honest use of the material, and that it will be copied in full with no alterations.

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Bob Orchard October 2011

While this information is made freely available, and can be copied, it is done with the understanding that there will only be fair and honest use of the material, and that it will be copied in full with no alterations.