2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears
Years ago the people teaching the Word of God were by and large teaching the truth or at least not attempting to willfully mislead. That’s not to say that there were not false teachers – there were false teachers in Christ’s day. In fact in the days that Christ walked the Earth there were a great many false teachers. Today’s world seems different to me – different because I am convinced, fully believing that today things are truly different. False teachers are prevalent and growing at an alarming rate – more so than ever before. This is yet another sign that we are not far from the end and the return of Christ – but that is unfortunately beyond the scope of this article to discuss.
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Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed
The Apostle Paul is pretty clear on teaching in the above verse – it matters not who the individual is, how long they have been in ministry, how large their church is, how great a teacher they used to be, or even if it is a supposed angel or vision from God. If what is being taught does not line up with Scripture, it is a lie and is to be avoided.
The Bible is our number one defense against false teachers; the Bible is the very Word of God. I’m not here discounting what the Holy Spirit may reveal to you, but still the Bible is the “go to” tool of choice for checking what someone teaches. The Bible teaches us; it speaks to us, encourages us, helps us grow in faith, is the instruction manual for life – and is the measure of any and all teachers on God’s Word. At the same time – the Word of God has no value whatsoever (to you) if you refuse to pick it up and use it.
Matthew 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…
This verse says it all – beware; be careful, scrutinize the teaching you receive. Some are wont to discount this verse in part because of one word: prophet. While the office of biblical prophet is no longer open (as in the Bible is complete) a prophet can also be one who teaches the Word of God, one who reveals the Word of God. That being said, there are those who teach more than the Word of God and it can be hard to discern that their teachings are incorrect.
The Word of God, the Bible is to be our guide ultimately – not the one teaching. The person teaching the Word will be responsible for what they teach – right or wrong before the Lord God. At the same time we bare the responsibility to check what is being taught against the Word of God for ourselves! The one teaching is not the only one accountable – so are we the ones who are listening.
What is being taught? Does it in fact line up with the Bible or does only part of the teaching line up with God’s Word? Is the teacher teaching to educate on God’s Word, or is the teacher trying to make a name for him or herself? What are the core beliefs of the one teaching – do they line up with the Bible? Is the core of what a person teaches from the Bible – or are many of the sources of said teaching from other people? References to others and what they teach is fine but if the core of a person’s teaching is not grounded in the Bible – then that person ought not to be teaching and you should not be listening.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them
This verse speaks to many in today’s Church unfortunately. Churches and denominations are splitting and falling apart at the seams because of diversity over issues where there should be no question. A prime example of this is homosexuality; show me one verse in all of God’s Word that says homosexuality is ok – it is not.
1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband
Romans 1:26-27 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet
I could reference many verses that make it abundantly clear that homosexuality is unacceptable to God but the above verses get the point across quite clearly. On the other hand hating homosexuals is also unacceptable to God, remember love your neighbor as yourself?
Abortion is another one – nowhere in the Bible will you find that killing your baby is ok.
Blessings and money; God wants you to be blessed and have all that you desire (prosperity gospel) – definitely untrue. God wants you to be blessed for sure, but that does not mean you will have Warren Buffet’s money. I believe Pastor Saeed Abedini is blessed by God – and look where he is.
The point of course is to be careful of the teaching you listen to – does it line up with the Word of God? Or has the one teaching misconstrued God’s Word to say something said teacher wants it to say?
2 John 1:7-9 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son
As there are many individuals that teach improper things that in no way line up with God’s Word – so too there are many denominations that teach falsehood.
Yes. We believe in Jesus, who said: “”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” (John 14:6) We have faith that Jesus came to earth from heaven and gave his perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice. (Matthew 20:28) His death and resurrection make it possible for those exercising faith in him to gain everlasting life. (John 3:16) We also believe that Jesus is now ruling as King of God’s heavenly Kingdom, which will soon bring peace to the entire earth. (Revelation 11:15) However, we take Jesus at his word when he said: “”The Father is greater than I am.”” (John 14:28) So we do not worship Jesus, as we do not believe that he is Almighty God.
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. (From the Mormon website)
The Book of Mormon tells of the resurrected Jesus Christ and His visit to His faithful followers in ancient America. After His visits to His disciples in the Old World, He descended out of heaven and appeared to His followers in ancient America.
The Book of Mormon describes how, during His visit, Jesus Christ healed their sick, taught them His gospel, blessed their children, and called twelve disciples to organize His Church in the Americas (3 Nephi 11:18; 3 Nephi 12:1-2). (From the Mormon website)
The Catholics: I decided to take the following portion of an article from another web site instead of sourcing it directly. The Catholic Church has many sites and the info can be found if you look. Taken from – Is Catholicism a false religion? Are Catholics saved?
The most crucial problem with the Roman Catholic Church is its belief that faith alone in Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The Bible clearly and consistently states that receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, grants salvation (John 1:12; 3:16,18,36; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10,13; Ephesians 2:8-9). The Roman Catholic Church rejects this. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that a person must believe in Jesus Christ AND be baptized AND receive the Eucharist along with the other sacraments AND obey the decrees of the Roman Catholic Church AND perform meritorious works AND not die with any mortal sins AND etc., etc., etc. Catholic divergence from the Bible on this most crucial of issues, salvation, means that yes, Catholicism is a false religion. If a person believes what the Catholic Church officially teaches, he/she will not be saved. Any claim that works or rituals must be added to faith in order for salvation to be achieved is a claim that Jesus’ death was not sufficient to fully purchase our salvation.
While salvation by faith is the most crucial issue, in comparing Roman Catholicism with the Word of God, there are many other differences and contradictions as well. The Roman Catholic Church teaches many doctrines that are in disagreement with what the Bible declares. These include apostolic succession, worship of saints or Mary, prayer to saints or Mary, the pope / papacy, infant baptism, transubstantiation, plenary indulgences, the sacramental system, and purgatory. While Catholics claim Scriptural support for these concepts, none of these teachings have any solid foundation in the clear teaching of Scripture. These concepts are based on Catholic tradition, not the Word of God. In fact, they all clearly contradict Biblical principles.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
In conclusion – we all need to wary of what we are receiving into ourselves as teaching. Protecting yourself from those that would knowingly and yes even unknowingly lead you astray from the Word of God is of paramount importance.
We also need to remember the second greatest commandment of Christ: love your neighbor as yourself. Because someone sits under misguided teaching listening to and believing in unbiblical doctrine does not make them a bad person – it makes them a misled person and quite possibly an unsaved person.
I will share a quick story on judging a book by it’s cover: Years ago I attended a bible study that was multi-denominational, said study included a Catholic. I really wondered about this knowing a lot of what they believe is not true. My eyes were opened very quickly that I had misjudged this gentleman – he said he knew the truth of God’s Word and stayed in the Catholic Church because he enjoyed the pomp and ceremony – ok nothing wrong with that. As the study went on, it became very apparent that this gentleman knew the Lord, and knew Him better than I did. He knew the Bible very well and could argue the merits of God’s Word quite well.
The moral of the story and the reason behind the entire article – judge all things by the Word of God alone.
Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report
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Since 2013, Christian news magazine The Olive Branch Report has featured the insightful writing and reporting of Greg Holt. His writing has been featured on American Prophet, Conservative Firing Line, DC Clothesline, Godfather Politics, Capitol Hill Outsider, Sons of Liberty Media, Rev. Austin Miles, and others. Greg is also the Publisher and Editor of Inspirational Christian Blogs.
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