Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Danger of False Teachers and Teachings

SERMON            GMT14-016

SERIES:              Topical – False Teaching

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Danger of False Teachers and Teachings

SCRIPTURE:     Selected Scriptures

SUBJ:                  Guard your spiritual freedom (Deception is calling)

SUMMARY:       False teachers are actively seeking to take you captive

SCHEME:           That the members of NKBC zealously guard their spiritual freedom against false teachers

1A     The Admonition about False Teachers

          1B     Matthew 24:23-25
          2B     1 Timothy 4:1
          3B     2 Timothy 4:2-4
          4B     1 John 4:1
          5B     2 Peter 2:1-3
          6B     Acts 20:28-31

2A     The Allurement among False Teachers

          1B     False Teachers rely on their personality
          2B     False Teachers rely on your ignorance
          3B     False Teachers rely on manipulation  

3A     The Approach advanced by False Teachers

          1B     The use of technology
          2B     The use of music
          3B     The use of mind control through peer pressure
          4B     The use of tickling the ears of listeners
          5B     The use of appealing to the flesh
          6B     The use of mixing truth with error

4A     The Armor against False Teachers

          1B     Realizing that false teachers exist
          2B     Being serious students of the word
          3B     Becoming a “fruit-inspector”

 The Danger of False Teachers & Teachings
Selected Scriptures


A.   The Reality of False Teachers

How real is the existence of false teachers to you? Acknowledging that there are false teachers of the gospel in this world today is one thing, but it is another thing altogether too actually live like there are false teachers. Far too many souls professing a faith in Jesus Christ have been deceived by false teachers and false teachings and will find themselves destroyed unless they take heed.

B.   The Repugnance of False Teachers

Those teachings and teachers are found wanting, so do not bid God’s speed to them (2 John 9-11).

Do not endorse them or commend them to others (Rom.16:17-18) as so many are willing to do these days in various mediums (i.e., Facebook, sharing books in congregations with other Christians with glowing commendations, etc.).

We must expose them (Eph. 5:8-13.We must reprove them (2 Tim. 4:2). Do not yield submission to them, not even for an hour (Gal. 2:5).

C.   The Representatives of False Teachers

[I want to give you six examples of false teachings taking people captive]

1.     The Shack  (Book)

The Shack is all about Mack (Mackenzie) Philips. Four years before this story begins, Mack’s young daughter, Missy, was abducted during a family vacation. Though her body was never found, the police did find evidence in an abandoned shack to prove that she had been brutally murdered by a notorious serial killer who preyed on young girls.
As the story begins, Mack, who has been living in the shadow of his Great Sadness, receives a strange note that is apparently from God. God invites Mack to return to this shack for a get together.
Though uncertain, Mack visits the scene of the crime and there has a weekend-long encounter with God, or, more properly, with the godhead.

Despite the great amount of poor theology, the greatest concern is probably this one: the book has a quietly subversive quality to it. Young seems set on undermining orthodox Christianity.

The problem is a large number of people who call themselves Christians in the evangelical church and the emergent church have passed this book around their congregations will great reviews.

2.     The Son of God (Movie)

The movie Son of God surpassed expectations and earned $26.5 million on its first weekend. It was once again that the “Christian community” is willing spend money at the box office even if it doesn’t have spiritual or biblical discernment.

Despite its box office success, the Son of God Movie isn't very good. Despite its widespread endorsement by Christian leaders, it is not faithful to the Scriptures. It mangles passages and events.

It seems as though the movie makers put all the Gospels into a blender and took what came out and used them for this story. There is no real focus.

It portrays Jesus as less than fully human. This portrayal of Jesus borders on Docetism, in which Jesus’ human form is merely an illusion.

3.     Heaven is For Real (Book & Movie)

As always, the problems with these kinds of stories is that they undermine the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture, add to the Bible (extra-biblical) while also being contrary to Scripture.

One way this is so is the mere attempt to cite and write about such an ‘episode.’ In 2 Cor 12:1-10, Paul’s humble account was written in third person in obedience to God; to not brag or “be credited with more” while remaining controlled in the Spirit to not boast.
Paul stated that even if he did boast he would not be a fool, for it really happened, as recorded in and for the Holy Spirit-inspired, authoritative writings of the Bible.

Paul wrote of his experience that he “did not know if it was in the body or out of the body,” but that nonetheless, it assuredly happened, again as written in and validated by the Word of God.

Later on, in the 2 Cor 12 passage, he was given a “thorn in the flesh” for further humbling purposes by the Lord, to keep him from “exalting” himself. The lesson from Paul’s thorn is that God’s grace is sufficient!

We are to be content in our weaknesses and sufferings for Christ, which indicate that “Christ dwells in us.” For when we are weak then He is strong. Praise the Lord!

4.     Jesus Calling (Book, Devotionals)

The author, Sarah Young, claims to have received revelations from Jesus through dialogue journaling (something she learned from two “listeners” who wrote another book called God Calling.

Her book is even written as if Jesus is speaking those messages directly to the reader, which I personally think borders (or crosses into) blasphemy. Alarm bells began to clang in my head.

Young writes that a year after reading that book, God Calling, “I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more…”

5.     Noah (Movie)

No doubt, one of the most talked about films so far this year is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. The film has gotten its share of rave reviews, though there are those who have major problems with it.

I am concerned about other new-age elements and symbols that permeate the narrative, too: the pyramid of strings; the re-occurring imagery of the one, all-seeing eye; the allusion to the third eye when the last demon rips open his chest, etc.

6.     The Charismatic Movement

The charismatic movement is characterized by a floating authority.  Emotions, experiences, and dreams are very important in this movement and are often quoted as justification for certain non-Biblical actions or beliefs.  God says in His Word that truth is not open to "private interpretation" (II Peter 1:20).  However, charismatics are continually giving the Holy Ghost credit for their feelings or ideas, even if they disagree with the plain teaching of the Bible.  Emotions are not always right.  What we feel is not always true.  The heart cannot be trusted (see Jeremiah 17:9).  Always beware of statements like:  "God told me"; "God spoke to me"; etc.

We as Christians must begin at the beginning - "what is truth"?  If we don't know where the final authority is, then truth is what each of us decides it to be.  A Bible-believing Christian must settle the fact that the final authority for God's creation is what God Himself says in His Word.  (See Mathew 4:4; Luke 16:29-31; John 12:48 and John 17:17).

Our theme is:  Guard your spiritual freedom – deception is calling

This is a good reminder for all of us to use spiritual discernment in order to escape being taken captive through the deception of the false teaching taught by false teachers.

Proposition:  False teachers are actively seeking to take you captive.

Interrogative Sentence:  What do we need to know to protect ourselves and others against the false teachers that are actively seeking to take you captive?

Transitional Sentence:  Today’s topic suggests four (4) essentials concerning false teachers and false teachings.

[Those four essentials that are revealed are:]

1A     The Admonition about false teachers
1B       Matthew 24:23-25 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS TO DECEIVE, IF POSSIBLE, EVEN THE ELECT. See, I have told you beforehand.
2B       1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. [NKJV]  
          The word for test is the Greek Word dokimazw it means to test by a trial. It means to put in on trial and prove the subject to be what it claims to be. So, put various teachers and their teaching on trial and see if the evidence supports the claim.
3B       1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, [NKJV] 
          The HS has repeated warned the church about apostasy. From the time of the first coming of Christ until the second coming apostasy will exist and it will reach a climax just before the Lord returns.
          So people are brought into the church who are not believers eventually fall away. Mass evangelism always does this. Those who are captured by false teachers will abandon the Christian faith. The word apostatize means to move away from an original position. So there are nominal of professing people in the church who think they are Christians but are not real. The associate with Christians and even participate aren’t not and many drop out of the church or move away from the position of being a believer.
4B       2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. MANY will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed. [NLT] 
          First of all Peter describes false teaches in detail so that Christians would be able to recognize them and their methods. The greatest “sin” or tell-tale sign of a false teacher is that they reject Jesus. As a matter of fact not only do they reject Christ they deny Him as master.
          What does that mean? First, the very first line gives us the clue as to what to think about this verse. The false prophets in Israel, these are Jewish false prophets. Second Peter is speaking of a master who by slaves requiring obedience on the part of the slaves. In Deut 32 we see an illustration of where God “bought” Israel but Israel rejects God.
          This passage does not teach that Jesus died for false teachers and they reject him. Those whom Jesus died for will not ever reject him.
          This passage teaches us that some false teachers will claim to be Christian but will deny his sovereign Lordship over them.
5B       2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word of God…For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. [NLT] 
          Our word means to tickle or scratch. It is used figuratively of the curiosity that looks for interesting and spicy bits of information. This itching is relieved by the teaching of the false teachers.
6B       Acts 20:28-31 [Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders] Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. [NKJV]
Our theme is:  Guard your spiritual freedom – deception is calling

This is a good reminder for all of us to use spiritual discernment in order to escape being taken captive through the deception of the false teaching taught by false teachers.

Proposition:  False teachers are actively seeking to take you captive. 
2A     The Allurement among false teachers
 Why do people Fall Victim to False Prophets/Teachers and False Teaching: 
1B     By focusing on the speaker’s style’ [personality/charisma] rather than on substance’ [what is actually being said and taught]
Ex. Most False Prophets have very strong, dynamic, captivating—even mesmerizing personalities. They look good—dress well.
They are skilled speakers and speak very authoritatively. People today focus on ‘style’ rather than on ‘substance.’ They can be demanding, captivating, exciting, and forceful.
Most people in the church today want story-tellers, speakers who can hold their attention with interesting and dramatic filler.
2B     By not knowing the Word of God to a degree that is sufficient to enable one to discern truth from error
Acts 17:11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. 
They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. [NLT] 
We are told to exercise discernment.
Heb 5:14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. {of full age: or, perfect } {use: or, a habit, or, perfection}
3B     By being naïve as to how false teachers are able to manipulate the masses 
          Sometimes believers are worse than ostriches when they put their head in the sand. Many who claim to be Christians simply don’t recognize the tactics that they are being manipulated by.
·        Flattery
·        Staged “miracles”
·        Promises that keep them stringing along
·        Pledge online. Taking an oath is forbidden in Scripture.
·        A panic plea to give now in order to keep us on the radio, TV, or whatever.
·        Help a poor starving child in some distant land. The child is shown with flies on his face.
·        Support our new building program, new TV studio, or whatever.
·        Mail us your prayer request. They are really looking for your check and will throw the prayer request away.
·        Join our tour of the Holy Land. They are really getting a free trip themselves plus making a profit.
·        Special offers. They know you are more likely to send money if you get a little something in return.
·        Brainwashing of Humans is Easy and Very Effective 
Church members come to accept the policies, practices, and teachings in their church as they drift into bondage from the brainwashing techniques used by church officials. This indoctrination is so effective that the member later denies he has been brainwashed. People who have been brainwashed never know it themselves. 
Humans can easily be taught to believe something that can easily be proven to be absolutely false. Brainwashing can extend to groups of people without a limit in size or scope. 
Millions of people were brainwashed to believe Communism was the best economic system until the truth was exposed by the fall of the Soviet Union. Cults and false religions have used these techniques with great success for centuries, and Christian churches frequently resort to the same methods. 
 Parents of brainwashed children have engaged reprogramming experts in an attempt to rescue their children from a cult or false religion. Rescue becomes extremely difficult when the oppressed is an adult who is protected by law from outside rescuers. Many parents grew up in Christian churches that used mind control techniques, and they raise their children to receive the same indoctrination generation after generation. They live their entire lives not coming to the knowledge that they have been brainwashed.  
3A     The Approach advanced by false teachers
What kind of Methods are employed by False-Prophets/Teachers which enables them to Manipulate and Persuade the Masses: 
1B     The use of technology [theater lights, stage props, etc.] to produce a certain “atmosphere” and “mood” 
2B     The use of music to affect people’s emotions and produce an altered state of consciousness—a ‘means’ of mass hypnosis.
Ex. Todd Bentley’s meetings begin with 2 hour of music used to whip the crowd into a frenzy before Bentley comes out. 
3B     Using mind-control and mass peer-pressure techniques to influence people for the false-prophet’s desired response
Ex. People being brought onstage, before a large crowd, while the false prophet all but tells them how to respond. 
4B     Telling people what they want to hear [i.e., tickling people’s ears] rather than on what they need to hear
Ex. False prophets promise wealth, health, promotions, etc. appealing to the ‘wants and desires’ of people 
5B     By appealing to people’s fleshly desires—“the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” [1John 2:16]
Ex. False Prophets divide the Body to the haves and the have-nots—those who have the Holy Spirit and those who do not. 
6B     The craft-full mixing of truth and error—Ex. “Abundant life” of which Jesus speaks is redefined in material terms       
EX. Use the Bible as a “prop”—God’s word taken out of context to reinforce the speaker’s beliefs and agenda
Ex. False prophets take passages on giving—distort and taken out of context—in order to manipulate people to give…
Our theme is:  Guard your spiritual freedom – deception is calling
This is a good reminder for all of us to use spiritual discernment in order to escape being taken captive through the deception of the false teaching taught by false teachers.
Proposition:  False teachers are actively seeking to take you captive.
4A     The Armor against false teachers
How We Can Protect Ourselves from False-Prophets/Teachers and False Teaching 
1B     Realize that there ARE ‘MANY’ false-prophets and teachers in the worldhave a healthy skepticism [1 John 4:1]
·         1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because MANY false prophets have gone out into the world. [NKJV]  
2B     Become Serious Students of the Word of God—Strive to learn the ‘whole counsel’ of God’s Word
·         Acts 17:11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. [NLT] 
3B     Be a Fruit-Inspector—inspect the teacher, the teaching, the character, the life-style, the effects on others.   
·         Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. [NKJV] 
Our theme is:  Guard your spiritual freedom – deception is calling

This is a good reminder for all of us to use spiritual discernment in order to escape being taken captive through the deception of the false teaching taught by false teachers.

Proposition:  False teachers are actively seeking to take you captive.

 [What do you say we wrap this up?]

To live with the reality of false teachers is to live knowing that we must spend a great deal of time in God’s word searching out what is true so that we may identify what is false in man’s teaching. It is to live knowing that no man is above error in his teaching and that we should never exalt man beyond that which is written (1 Cor. 4:6—KJV).

Whatever we do, let us not be so naïve as to think that we are above deception, beyond error, and incapable of being mistaken in our convictions. One thing is certain, while any one of us can be wrong, God is always right (Rom 3:4).

Exhortation: So, start living as if there are false teachers in this world this very instant by confirming the things which I write are of God. Otherwise, “if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Cor. 14:37-38)

Paul wrote in Colossians 2:1 (ESV)

“…See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ.”

Let’s pray! J


Anonymous said...

It's very easy Gregg to be taken in with theses false teachings, such as the things you mentioned.

Have a joyous Sunday.

Arlee Bird said...

This is very comprehensive. Your study outline here fits in with what our Sunday morning Bible study class has been examining for several months now. You've brought in some different aspects than what we've covered so far as we've been more focused on the various sects and offshoots of religious teaching. You've added some important points to the conversation.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

Susan said...

Hi Gregg, I see many now falling away saying they "once believed" and now do not. These are very perilous times. I believe many more are going to fall victim to the many lies which are growing more deceptive and crafty as time passes. It is as was foretold in scripture.