“And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” ~Mark 13:5-6
I once heard an anointed man of God, Zac Poonen of India’s CFC church, expound on the scripture above. He pointed out that most interpret the last part of this scripture to mean that there will be many who profess to actually be Christ, the Messiah – and in turn, shall deceive many. However, he pointed out another very plausible interpretation. He stated that most people, even children, would know better if someone told them, “I am Jesus Christ.” Most of us would not be deceived to believe such non-sense. However, he said that one could come and say, “Yes, Jesus is the Christ” yet, would go on to deceive many by teaching untruths. But since this person said he believed Jesus was the Christ, we let our guard down and take in whatever he says as the Gospel; thus, the deception. Remember, even the demons believe (see James 2:19). So, we must be on guard and filter whose teachings we are listening to, making sure they do not deceive us.
In Proverbs 4:23, scripture teaches, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” In other words, guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. It is not a sin to test the preaching you are sitting under or listening to. In fact, that is wise and the Bible teaches us to do so. Scripture states: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” 1st John 4:1. It doesn’t matter how smart, likeable, charitable, or charismatic a preacher is – what matters most is whether or not he preaches truth.
What I’ve Heard In My Day
“The truly wise man is he who believes the Bible
against the opinions of any man.” ~R.A. Torrey
I am, by no means, bashing the true and genuine church – for she is the Bride of Christ and she is beautiful. However, I have been to many meetings and/or have heard sermons on TV or online where supposed “preachers” taught fallacies. If they do not correct their wrong beliefs and teachings, we simply cannot afford to partake of their teaching and listen to falsehoods. For, if they will deceive in one area, what is to stop them from deceiving in other areas? Our souls are too valuable to be exposed to such risks.
Below, I’ve listed a few bullet-points of wrong teaching I’ve heard in my time. Remember, this is NOT the teachings of the Bible nor of the true church.
• False Teaching: “If you are an unrepentant active homosexual, you can still go to Heaven.” (However, 1st Corinthians 6:9 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE).
• False Teaching/Belief: “There are many ways to God and Heaven.” (However, John 14:6 teaches otherwise.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “No matter the reason, if you are divorced, then you are allowed to remarry while your first spouse is still living.” (However, Luke 16:18 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “If you are in an adulterous remarriage, you can still pastor a church.” (However, Titus 1:6 teaches otherwise.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “We don’t need to be childish in any way, therefore the child within us needs to be cast out.” (However, Matthew 18:3 teaches otherwise.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “A good preacher or Christian won’t offend anybody by their beliefs.” (However, 1st Peter 2:8 teaches otherwise.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “If you have sickness or disease in your physical body, it is because you are in sin.” (However, John 9:1-3 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “If you give enough money to a ministry, you can be healed of physical ailments and become wealthy.” (However, Matthew 10:8 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my post HERE.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “It’s okay for Christians to have a beer or two, in moderation.” (However, Proverbs 20:1 teaches otherwise. I expound on the topic in my post HERE.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “As a Christian, I have the authority on my own to creatively speak things into existence (even money), to command things, and to attract favor to myself by my own thoughts and words.” (However, Psalm 33:9 teaches otherwise. I expound on this in my posts HERE and HERE.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “As long as I believe there is a God, then I will go to Heaven when I die.” (However, James 2:19 teaches otherwise.)
• False Teaching/Belief: “I don’t have to believe the entire Bible to be a Christian, so long as I make it to church every Sunday.” (However, 2nd Timothy 3:16 teaches otherwise.)
Are you hearing any of these above-mentioned false teachings or beliefs in your church or in the sermons you may listen to on TV or online? Sometimes, I can’t believe my ears! What did I just hear that supposed “preacher” say?! Remember, Jesus warned us ahead of time to be on our guard. Beware of the twisting of scripture. We must use scripture in light of the entire context of the Bible.
Also, we must remember that, although few in number, there are still those anointed, genuine, and true preachers of the Gospel who preach the Bible accurately and who deeply care. If anyone’s teaching or preaching aligns with the Bible, then we can whole-heartedly take it in and allow it to nurture our souls. Evangelist Roy Daniel put it like this, “Truth does not change simply because Hypocrites exist. Christ and His word remain a foundation sure and true.”
It is SO important to know the Bible. Lack of knowledge can cause destruction (see Hosea 4:6). It is disconcerting and disheartening to see so many falling prey to false teachings. Let us not be deceived.
My final questions… Are you picking up on false teaching when/if you hear it? If so, what is your response? Are you hearing what I am hearing? Are you honing in on truth and turning a deaf ear to fallacies? I certainly hope so, for your soul’s sake.
“They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” 1st John 4:5-6
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” 1st John 4:20
“Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s [money’s] sake.“ Titus 1:11
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2nd Timothy 3:5-7