|Volume 25 Number 3 March 2023
Jesus spoke about the false teachers.
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 thornbushes 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. (Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV)
These teachers did not teach the truth. Similarly, Jeremiah 23:16 warned in his time, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the Lord.’”
Jesus warned the people to be careful of the servants of the devil, who can look like servants of God; the apostle Paul identified this problem, too. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
False teachers can be known by their fruits or their works and by the things they do and what they want other people to believe. They teach from their own understanding rather than from the Truth – God’s Word. Jesus said in Matthew 15:8-9 that the people drew near to Him with their mouth, but their hearts were far from Him. They worshipped in vain because they taught the commandments of men.
The wolves in sheep’s clothing are those who pervert the Holy Scriptures. They turn from the truth, corrupt the Word of God and lead people astray by their false teachings. The apostle Peter said that false teachers will secretly bring in destructive heresies and the things they do not understand (2 Peter 2:1-2).
The false teachers in this age mix up the Old Testament and the New Testament laws. They teach people to worship like David and not according to the teachings of Christ. For instance, they worship in vain by using mechanical instruments in worship rather than merely singing as stated in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. Other misconceptions and false teachings are:
The Bible is very clear about the above. The church must not participate in anything that is unscriptural. The New Testament contains the law of Christ, which is the teaching we must follow. [The Old Testament, including the Ten Commandments, have been replaced by the New Testament for people living since the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ nearly 2,000 years ago (Romans 7:6-7). Christians practice what the New Testament authorizes. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
The Need for Personal Evangelism
J. T. Bristow