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Oddly enough, scripture records several cases where individuals were mentioned by name because they strayed from the faith ( :, :, : ). By naming them alerts others to be on their guard against their false teachings and so that they can cease to contribute to their empire.
In : -, Paul makes interesting distinctions concerning these false teachers. When he calls them “rebellious”, he uses a Greek term, “anupotaktos.” It is used to describe those, “who cannot be subjected to control, disobedient, unruly, refractory, undisciplined. They refuse submission to authority. They are ungovernable for they refuse to be subject to any control. They are unruly, disregarding restraint, insubordinate, unwilling to submit, disorderly, headstrong, intractable, undisciplined, and out of control (uncontrollable).
Doesn’t that sound like many of these modern day “apostles and prophets” who engage in adultery, fornication, dishonesty, love money more than the ministry, teach doctrines of demons and even go as far as to perform false miracles in order to gain popularity? Even when their erroneous doctrines, false prophesies and immoral living are publicly exposed, they are inclined to defy correction and discipline. They may repent enough be to forgiven but they never surrender enough to be changed and this is why so many of them are repeat offenders.
Paul uses the Greek word, “mataiologos”, for the word idle / vain / meaningless talkers. The word refers to those who are “building houses on sand, chasing the wind, shooting at stars, pursuing one’s shadow, are vain talkers, idle talkers, foolish prattlers who speak only worthless nonsense. These folks are babblers with nothing to say. He is one who utters empty, senseless things. A windbag! Paul uses the same word in :.
And even though what they are saying may impress their hearers, have thousands of followers on social media, their own webcasts and the stores are packed with their merchandise, ultimately their words lack substance. Historically, “empty talkers” were frequent in the ranks of the pseudo-intellectuals in the ancient world and even more so in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) / Dominion movement.
Jeremiah described a similar breed of men in Israel writing, “The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain? … They led God’s people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting yet (God) did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit… ( : -)
By “fruits” defenders of false teachers usually are referring to “charitable works”, who perform “signs and wonders” and in the public eye live upright lifestyles.
However, fruit that is not mentioned in scripture is no fruit at all and is not an indication that their ministry or teaching is sound. Take for example the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. They have massive feeding schemes which serve millions of people around the world and although their work is commendable, they are none the less lost. Having a large following is also not indicative of having sound doctrine. In fact, it probably is a case of people wanting to have their ears tickled ( : -).
And if numbers are deemed to be an indication of good solid teaching, then Islam could be considered being the right religion to follow since they have an estimated 1.8 billion followers.
Nor is having a huge social media presence or having hundreds of people log on to watch your services. In fact Paul tells us that people will heap up for themselves teachers, meaning that they will have many of them – so they can find just the right one that will tickle their ears in just the right way and say just the right thing so they can feel good about themselves. People love to be told that God wants them happy, healthy, and prosperous. They love to get “personal prophetic words” from God about the “big plans that he has for them” and the “great things they will do”. They love to hear that there is a “new level” “a greater anointing” “a fresh revelation” “another demon they must battle” or another “prophetic act they must perform” or any of the other unscriptural things people engage in. And they love to do it because it appeals to their ego. The problem with ego is that the more we have of it the more we edge God out (E.G.O).
Signs and wonders are also no indication of fruit. In fact Jesus tells us that false prophets and teachers can perform miracles. However, when the Day of Judgement comes, He will declare that He never knew them. In fact, they will use what they had done as “proof” that they were true followers ( : -). Many churches take pride in the fact that they exhibit (fake) signs and wonders, glory clouds, gold dust and what can only be described as a kundalini awaking, masquerading as the Holy Ghost. (See videos)
These do not qualify as biblical signs. Keep in mind that not everything that is supernatural is of God thus the reason John warns us to, “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. ( :). And if Satan can masquerade as an angel of light, it is no marvel that his ministers (apostles and deceitful workers) can and are doing so ( : -) and that an evil and adulterous generation seek signs and wonders.
Now do not misunderstand me, I am not a cessasionist, however, sign-seeking is evil when that is all you seek. Sign seeking becomes ego when you offer an experience as being Christ and not Christ Himself. Sign seeking is wicked when you seek only the sign, while wilfully ignoring the truth to which the sign points. ( : -). There is an order to signs and wonders – “ into the world and and to those who believe and are baptised will be saved, …” ( :-). However, extraordinarily little invitation to come to know Christ is offered and truly little Gospel is actually preached – what they do offer is “Come and experience…” and if in one of their meetings, someone does happen to get healed, it is because of God’s sovereign Grace and not because they attended their service and had hands laid on them by a self-appointed and self-anointed “apostle or prophet.”
. ’ “ ?”
My knee-jerk reaction to this question is, “Please find where this is practiced in scripture.” Obviously, no one can find it because there is no instruction to practice this. What we are instructed to do is “test and discern error from truth”. “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” (Charles Spurgeon).
Another way to put this is, if you drink a small amount of arsenic in water once it probably will not have any effect on you. However if you drink it every day it will eventually kill you (forgive me if this allegory is crude). The same applies with false teachings. Over time you will eventually start believing what they say and embrace what they teach. Paul puts it much better than I can when, referring to those false teachers who were trying to compel the Galatians to return to the law, in order to make them better Christians, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. ( : -). Jesus also says the same thing in : -. Jesus was referring to the of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Leaven—or yeast—does not remain isolated in a single spot within a lump of dough. It spreads and becomes part of the entire loaf. In a similar way, false teaching and its consequences are never limited to just a few people in a group. It is either rejected—and removed—or it works its way into the thoughts and practices of the whole group. False ideas are contagious; they spread and take hold.
In : , Jesus uses the word, “Beware,” and He used this word because it is meant to grab our attention – to make us sit up and listen. The Greek word is “prosecho” and it means to, “Hold your mind back from.” In other words, do not ever expose your mind to the influence of false prophets. Do not pay attention to, give heed to, follow, notice, devote yourself, do not even put your mind in his vicinity. They are dangerous, they pervert the mind and they poison the soul.
You are either being conformed to the world, or you are being transformed by the renewal of the mind. There is no chewing meat and bones and then spitting out bones. Your mind will either be conformed or not. It will be transformed or not. False teaching will poison your mind or not. Nothing a false teacher has to say is healthy. Nothing. It might sound good…you might think it is helpful, but it is not. The meat that they offer is worm infested, will make you sick, weak and may eventually be the result of your spiritual demise. A false prophet has neither a divine commission nor a divine message. They neither speak for God or from God. They stand in their own authority speaking their own message, and it is utterly false.
Two most notable and more recent examples of this, is Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Copeland declared in his “office of the prophet of God,” Corona “dead” (March 30, 2020) and Hinn said that only 5000 people would die and then there will be a breakthrough after that and that a vaccine would be found. He knew this because the Holy Ghost had told him (April 23, 2020) – as I write this, the death toll due to Corona in the USA alone is 160 000 souls… and climbing. (See videos)
False teachings destroy. Do not be so prideful that you think you can detect meat from bones, or even more foolishly believe that any part of a false teacher’s food is healthy for the body.