Beware (Part 1)
To beware means to restrain or guard one’s self from. or, to regard with caution; to restrain one’s self from anything that may be dangerous, injurious or improper; to avoid; to take care. The Word of God tells us many things of which we are to beware of. Today we will be talking on some of the dangers we have to beware.
I. False Prophets (Mat. 7:15)
1. False prophet is a person who claims to speak messages from God, but who teaches false doctrine (De. 13:1-11; Jer. 23; Mt. 7:15; 2Pe. 2:1).
2. Dave Hunt lists six marks of a false prophet. They are:
a. Through signs and wonders they lead astray after false gods (Dt. 13:1-4)
b. Their prophecies don’t come to pass (Dt. 18:20-22)
c. They contradict God’s Word (Is. 8:20)
d. They bear bad fruit (Mt. 7:18-20);
e. All men speak well of them (Lk. 6:26)
f. They deny that Jesus, the one and only Christ, has come once and for all in the flesh (I Jn. 4:3).
3. The Bible describes false prophets as:
a. Light and treacherous. Zep. 3:4
b. Covetous. Mic. 3:11
c. Crafty. Mt. 7:15
d. Drunken. Isa. 28:7
e. Immoral and profane. Jer. 23:11,14
f. Influenced by evil spirits. 1Ki. 22:21-22
False prophets includes famous names like Ellen G. White of the Seventh Day Adventist, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young of the Mormons. Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Morris Cerullo, Oral Roberts, John Hagee, William Branham, I would include Mohammed here.
Benny Hinn is about the most sought after false prophet and teacher today. He falsely predicted that all the homosexuals in America would die by fire in the late 1990’s. Benny Hinn has confessed that there are 9 beings within the Godhead. 3 beings (Tritheism) each having their own trinity of beings within each. He teaches word-faith doctrine. Benny Hinn stated on TBN that after his crusade in South America in 2002, that he was certain that he would return to America with video footage of Jesus appearing on stage during the crusades, because Jesus had told him this was going to happen. Hinn also stated that very soon people would no longer need to take their deceased loved ones to the morgue. Instead, stated Hinn, they should be placed in front of the television during the airing of TBN and they would rise from the dead. We don’t have enough paper to list all of the falseness of Hinns ministry.
I honestly think that most if not all the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements have their own false prophets. During my ten year stay in Libya, I’ve seen members of small charismatic and Pentecostal group prophesying, speaking in tongues and perform bogus healing. Prophesies and testimonies that are too good to be true and probably just told to impress, convince, and deceive an unsuspecting visitor or new comer to stay on, come back again, and join their group.
II. False teachers
a. False teachers are not serving Jesus Christ, but their own interests (Rom. 16:17-18).
b. False teachers are Satan’s ministers; counterfeit Christians (2Cor. 11:1-5; Gal. 2:4).
c. False teachers are cursed (Gal. 1:6-9).
d. False teachers are cut off from Christ (Gal. 5:4).
e. False teachers shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:20-21).
f. False teachers are reprobate (2 Tim. 3:8).
g. False teachers are imposters (2 Tim. 3:13).
h. False teachers are condemned and subverted (Tit. 3:10-11).
i. False teachers do not have God (2 Jon. 1:13).
j. False teachers are not of God (1 Jon. 4:5-6).
k. False teachers are twice dead, reserved for Hell (Jude 1:13).
l. False teachers do not have the Spirit (Jude 1:19).
Billy Graham is considered the most dangerous teacher alive nowadays for his association with the Roman Catholic Church. Robert Schuller a positive thinking guru which denies essential Christian doctrines and promotes self-esteem. Pat Robertson, Joel Osteen are just some of the existing popular but problematic teachers. John MacArthur denies the efficacy of Jesus’ physical liquid blood and so is R.B. Thieme Jr. Rick Warren with his Purpose Driven book and his Rock and Rolling Saddleback Church. Paul Young the author of The Shack which portrays God as a female God. There’s a lot more but space and time will not allow me to tell you here. Let’s not forget the Catholic Church with their false doctrine of salvation by works, Mariolatry, idolatry, veneration of the saints, and sacramentalism.
III. Dangers of False Teachings
a. Salvation depends on sound doctrine (Rom. 6:17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Col. 1:21-23; 2 Th. 2:13-15; 1 Jon. 3:24; 4:6-7; 2 Jon 1:9).
b. False doctrine opens Christians to satanic attacks (Eph. 6:1; 4).
c. False doctrine will bring shame at the judgment seat of Christ and will keep the person from finding God’s perfect will (2 Tim. 2:15).
d. False doctrine injures the spiritual life (2 Tim. 2:14, 16-17).
e. False doctrine is a leaven which corrupts the entire body (Gal. 5:9).
f. Fellowship with false doctrine can keep the Christian from getting a full reward (2 Jon 1:13).
IV. Why does God Allow False Teachers to carry on their Work?
a. False teaching reveals true from false Christians (Deut. 13:1-4; 1 Cor. 11:18-19;
2 Tim. 2:16-21; 1 Jn. 2:18-19).
b. God is allowing Satan and evil men to work out their own wills to a certain degree in this present age (2 Th. 2:7-11). God has set the bounds of their liberty, though, and their judgment is waiting (2 Pet. 2:3-9; 2 Tim. 3:8-9; Jude 1:14-15).
V. Protecting Church from False Teaching
a. Ordain only qualified leaders (Tit. 1:9-11; Acts 20:28-32). The leaders must have the ability to teach sound doctrine and must be ready and able to protect the believers from every wind of false doctrine (Eph. 4:11-14). The leaders must also have the kind of lives that will not allow Satan to bring reproach upon the church.
b. Guard the door to the church. The church must be careful about those who join, particularly those who come from other churches. If the church members are not in unity as to the doctrine of the church there will be problems.
c. Maintain standards for teachers and church workers (Tit. 2:3). Paul said that even the older women who teach the younger women must have the right kind of Christian lives and they must teach the right things. The churches must have high standards for all who teach and serve in the various ministries. To fail here is to invite doctrinal trouble.
d. Exercise a strong teaching ministry to ground the church in the Word of God (Mt. 28:20; 2 Tim. 2:2).
e. Exercise discipline and separation (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Th. 3:6; 2 Tim. 3:5; Tit. 3:9-11).
We will continue this topic next Sunday if the Lord wills. Read your Bible and pray always. Have an intimate relationship with Christ. God bless you all.
Note: lots of materials here were taken from Way of Life Encyclopedia by David Cloud.