Unmasking False Teachers or False Preachers
We live in a world currently were false teachers and false preachers are the face of Christianity. They have infiltrated the church and they have, as it appears, taken over what is Christianity. All over our country, all over our television and all over social media, one can see the influence of these false teachers and false preachers on the people. In this message, we will look at the book of Jude and 2 Peter 2, both of which will help us in understanding who the false teachers and false preachers are. Out of the book of Jude and 2 Peter 2, we will see four things that I will be discussing in this message: (1) The doctrine of false teachers and false preachers (2) The Behaviour of false teachers and false preachers (3) The Character of false teachers and false preachers and (4) God’s Impending Judgement of false teachers and false preachers. The intention of this message is to help each one of us, unmask false teachers and false preachers. This message must give us the ability to differentiate between false teachers and false preachers, and true ones.
The Doctrine of false teachers and false preachers
The word doctrine refers to the teachings, and in this case, the teachings of false teachers and false preachers. What exactly do these people teach those that listen to them. Let us look at what Peter says: 2 Peter 2:1
1 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. (NLT). This is what Jude says: Jude 1:4
4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (ESV Strong’s)
When Peter speaks of “destructive heresies”, he refers to the teaching which is not in line with what the word of God teaches, and which only brings destruction to those that listen and follow this teaching. When Jude speaks of “perverting the grace of God”, he refers to to twisting what the grace of God is and what it intends to achieve, into something that allows them or those that follow them, to live immoral lives. Both Peter and Jude says that these false teachers and false preachers also deny the Master and Lord, our Master and our Lord who bought them. There might be a confusion here with the words “who bought them”. This might be interpreted to mean that these false teachers and false preachers were actually saved and now have lost their salvation. Since we know that a Christian once saved cannot lose their salvation (John 10:28), this interpretation cannot be correct. I believe that when Peter refers to the false teachers and false preachers as having being bought, he only refers to what they say instead of what they are. Take note that false teachers and false preachers claim to be Christians, but they are not (Matt 7:15). In Titus 1:16, Paul says their works deny their profession of knowing God. Peter is saying that they claim to be Christian but they deny the very Master and Lord who they say they follow. John calls them anti-Christs (1 John 2:22). They deny Jesus through what they teach and how they behave, which we will see later on.
Therefore, in summary, false teachers and false preachers teach what is not in line with what the word of God says, and they deny the authority of Jesus Christ through how they behave. Just listen to what false teachers and false preachers teach, compare that with what the bible teaches, and you will be able to identify them. This means you actually have to read the bible!
The Behaviour of false teachers and false preachers
Now that we know what they teach, let us look at how they behave. let us start with Peter. In 2 Peter 2, Peter says they extort money from people using false words because of their greed (Vs 3). They boldly and without fear blaspheme the glorious ones, that is, heavenly beings (Vs 10). False teachers and false preachers enjoy engaging in a fast self-indulgent lifestyle (Vs 13). They entice weak souls (Vs 14). False teachers and false preachers entice those who were living unconstrained immoral lives, who have managed to escape from this kind of live, back into this kind of live, and what is even worse, when they succeed in bringing you back into this unconstrained immoral type of live, they boast about that (Vs 18). This simply means that their goal is to ensure people live lives of unconstrained immorality and they fight any attempt by anyone to stop that kind of life. They promise people freedom while they themselves are slaves to sin (Vs 19). They are scoffers, that is they like to mock or make fun of (Jude 18) (2 Peter 3:3-4). In they same verse, Peter says they follow their ungodly passions.
Let us look at what Jude says. These people disrespect supernatural beings (Vs 8). They reject all other forms of authority laid down by God (Vs 11). These people deceive people for money (Vs 11).
Paul says that they disguise themselves as apostles of Christ (2 Cor 11:13). In Titus 1:16, Paul says their works deny their profession of knowing God.
Therefore, one only has to look at their lives , and one will be able to identify them.
The Character of false teachers and false preachers
Let us see how Peter describes their character. Peter says false teachers and false preachers are unconstrainably immoral (Vs 2). In other words, their immorality has no limit. They are greedy (Vs 3). These people indulge in defiling passions (Vs 10). They despise authority (Vs 10). Peter says they are adulterers (Vs 14). They are accursed (Vs 14). These people are after self-enrichment (Vs 15) and lastly, they boast about immorality (Vs 18).
Let us see how Jude describes their character. Jude says false teachers and false preachers do not fear God (Vs 4b). They reject the authority of Jesus Christ (Vs 4b). False teachers and false preachers rely on their own dreams and/ or visions (Vs 8). Jude says they have no reasoning capacity but like animals, act instinctively, that is, without thinking (Vs 10). They refuse to repent (Vs 11). False teachers and false preachers are worldly people devoid of the Holy Spirit (Vs 19).
Therefore, all one has to do is to look at one or more of these characters, if present continually in the life of a false teacher and false preacher, and one will be able to identify them.
The Consequence of false teachers and false preachers
The sad thing about false teachers and false preachers, is that many will follow their unconstrained immorality (2 Pet 2:2). In the same verse Peter says that the way of the truth will be blasphemed. In other words, the truth will no longer matter and will be mocked or made fun of. As a result of false teachers and false preachers, people will be enticed back into sin (2 Pet 2:14;18).
God’s Impending Judgement of false teachers and false preachers
Jude says that false teachers and false preachers bring destruction upon themselves and judgement will not be spared (Vs 5-7;10).
What must we do?
Jude makes it very clear right from the beginning of his letter that, he is appealing to all of us to contend for our faith that was once and for all delivered to saints. contrary to the lies about extra biblical revelations coming from these false teachers and false preachers, Jude says our faith is complete and was delivered once and that is it. No more revelations. By contend Jude means to exert intense effort to defend our faith. Now that we know what false teachers and false preachers teach, how they behave and what their character is, we can unmask them, identify them, and stop them, by preaching the true gospel. Once we can identify and unmask them, we can refuse and reject their teaching and remove them from the true church.
Another message on false preachers and teachers, click here