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False Teachers-How Can You Know?

by Don Mcgee

DonMcGee(Copied with permission from Crown & Sickle Ministries)

Sometimes people wonder how they can tell who is teaching the truth and who is not. They might also have reason to wonder about a teacher's motives. Since it is not politically correct to judge anybody about anything today, we might ask what is a person to do?

The answer is easy. You measure them by what they are saying and you watch the fruit of their labor. But, is that not judging? It certainly is, and that is exactly what Jesus said to do.

As the Lord brought His Sermon on the Mount to a close He issued some guidelines about this sort of thing. He said, among other things in Matthew 7:15ff, "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."

In order to beware of a pastor or teacher one must examine what they are saying against scripture. People, including teachers and preachers, are not to be judged by what a person might think, but by what God has said. All this religiously correct talk these days about not judging people sounds good to some folks, depending upon their individual preferences, but it is not according to the standard of scripture. If someone is allegedly speaking on God's behalf, but does not speak as God speaks on an issue do not listen to him. He is a false teacher, and his words are spiritual poison.

Along that same line you might want to examine his motives. If a pastor or evangelist suddenly loses his mansion and luxury car and leaves the ministry you might wonder about his motive in the first place.

Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). God has given different people different kinds of talents. Some can preach and teach, some are craftsmen, others are farmers and ranchers while others may be adept at making money. He can use all of these, and all are important. But, none are all important. The point is that a person's love for money can be so strong so as to dictate his belief system, most often a false one. And if that belief system is not biblical God cannot use him no matter his net worth, his name, his position, or anything else.

So, is judging a person's teaching or motive or lifestyle wrong? If such judgment is according to my personal standard, yes. However, if it is according to biblical teaching it is most definitely not wrong. In fact, we are encouraged to do this.

Beware of getting sucked up by this open-ended, non-judgmental, tolerance thing. That has nothing to do with God's grace, but rather it is false teaching that offers license to those who wish to live in rebellion toward God and call it OK at the same time. In the end the Lord will not allow non-judgmental tolerance as a defense in His courtroom. In fact there will be no defense at all. Just pure, unmitigated, righteous justice. (Read carefully Matthew 7:20-27).




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33