False Christian ministers are those who stay out of the Christian orthodoxy into heresy. Christian orthodoxy is the body of the authorized or generally accepted doctrines and practices of the Christian faith. Its main concern is the purity and the authenticity of the word of God. Jesus said that we should teach them to observe all that He had commanded them”. Matt. 28: 20.
Heresy in Christianity is a belief or an opinion contrary to the orthodox Christian doctrine. It stands as a divisive and destructive error that relegates the very identity of God and the heart of the biblical gospels. It denies the deity of Christ or salvation by grace alone and others. It has become an issue as each of the churches prescribes doctrines and guidelines for their members to follow. They do not follow or want to follow the standard of the Bible. And these caused disunity and segregation among the Christians. This is serious! These are toxic mixtures of intellectual and moral errors.
Categories of False Christian Teachers
- The heretic: Apostle Peter speaks against the heretic in 2 Peter 2: 1-3. He is the most dangerous of all false ministers. He undermines the very foundation of our faith, enveloping the truth he knows in error so as to mislead. Read the errors of the Pharisees and other sects. Jesus challenged the errors of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and others. Jesus warned people against the leaven (teachings) of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16: 6 and 12. Paul called the Judaizers, the Christian Jews, who insisted that Christian converts must be circumcised and keep the Mosaic laws, dogs, and mutilators of the flesh Phil. 3: 2, 18. They caused divisions and followed the tradition of elders contrary to God’s word. See Mark 7: 10-13; Matt. 15: 1-11 and Romans 16: 17.
- The charlatan: It is true that the love we have for a chicken is its sweet taste in our stew. The Charlatan is interested in the ministry of Jesus Christ so long as his financial needs are met. With excitement, John, the Beloved, and Andrew left their master, John the Baptist, and ran after Jesus. Jesus turned and asked them a thoughtful question, “What seek ye”? This is a question every minister and church worker MUST answer. John 1: 38.
- The false prophet: God defined who a prophet is in Exodus 7: 1-2. Moses was like a god to Pharaoh and Aaron was to be his prophet, his mouthpiece. Satan is responsible for all false doctrines, false ministries, teachings, and even false Christ. Jesus warned against the increase in false prophets at this end times in His Olivet discourse. Matthew 24: 11.
- The abuser: These individuals use their leadership positions to satisfy their sexual lust, greed for material wealth, or power acquisition. Peter talks of their sensuality which they use to pervert the truth. 2 Peter 2: 2. Jude talks of men turning the grace of God to lasciviousness and denying Christ. Jude 4.
- The divider: This person uses false doctrines to divide brothers from brothers and sisters from sisters disrupting and destroying the Lord’s sanctuary. See Jude 1: 17-19. Amp. version. These are scoffers following their ungodly passions; they cause divisions; they are worldly people devoid of the Holy Spirit; they are leaders in the church who do not hold the church together but scatter it.
- The Tickler: This is a false teacher who cares nothing for God’s desires but strives only to please men. Paul refers to those listening to them as having itching ears. They love to seek teachers of their own desires to suit their passions as they wander away from the truth. 2 Tim. 4: 3-4; Jer.6: 14.
- The Speculator: This leader is obsessed with novelty, originality, or speculation. Hebrew warns against different strange doctrines. Heb. 13: 9. Paul told Timothy to keep to the church’s accepted doctrines. 1 Tim. 1: 3. The Speculator tosses aside the core of the gospel and goes after trivial matters. Somebody has said that “He who hunts lions leaves mosquitoes alone”.
How to Identify False Teachers
- The Fruit Test: Jesus taught us that by their fruits, we would know them. Matthew 7: 15-20. This teaches us that we have to check the spiritual fruit that a man called himself a man of God produces. If it contradicts the Biblical standard, you should know the kind of Man of God he is. Beware!
- The Doctrine Test: This is the test of sound doctrines. The doctrine of the incarnation in 1 John 4: 1-3. We are admonished to test all spirits. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus came in the flesh is from God. Any spirit that denies this is not from God. You have to check this before you join a church. A church that preaches against this is not good for you.
- Jesus is the Standard: 1 Timothy 6: 3-4 tells us that the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ are the standard to judge all other doctrines. It is not based on the assumptions of anybody, but on what the Bible says about our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. The question you might ask yourself is, is Jesus Christ the pillar of Jesus? Are they really calling the name of Jesus Christ there? If the answer is NO, that church is not good for you.
- The Scripture Test: This is the test of submission to the entire body of the scriptures. 1Cor. 14: 37-38 and 1 John 4: 6. My brethren, if any aim or suggestion about religion cannot be found in the Bible, it is heresy. Any assumption or suggestion must be based on the beliefs of the Bible, not what someone or GO or leaders of the church assumed.
- The Gospel Test: Paul warned that if an angel or anyone (including himself) preaches another gospel or a perverted gospel contrary to what the Galatians have received, let him be accursed. Gal. 1: 6-9. The best protection from false teachers is to belong to a church that preaches Christ and He crucified. Join the church that believes in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, you will understand the gospel of Jesus and that it is He that joins us together.
The false ministry is a dangerous and condemnable job. Children of God must know what they believe and hold on to the truth. Like the Berean brethren, we must check the Bible to affirm every doctrine that comes to us Acts 17: 11. If we can desist from the personal doctrines and rely solely on Biblical standards, we shall receive commendation and not condemnation from our Savior at the end of our ministry in Jesus name. Remain blessed.
- Pray that God will give you the discerned spirit to distinguish between false doctrine and Bible-based doctrines.
- Prayer that God will direct your path to the Bible-based church when you are planning to join a church.
- Pray so that the false doctrines will not erode you from God.
- Pray that God should take you away from false teachers and prophets.
This sermon continues when you read further about the genuine teachers who slipped into errors of heresy. These errors have misled some Christians.
BY ELDER SAMUEL OMOLE JULY 23, 2023.