Just a Dumbhead who got it wrong – OR – a verifiable False Teacher?
Sometimes I am a real dumbhead. I get it wrong. (I know: you knew that already!) I get into some difficult, errant groove, and then it becomes a nasty rut, and then… off I go with a wrong-headed belief or dunderhead sin.
That does not make me a false teacher. The warning is: don’t become an apostate – and don’t be a dope (like all of us are sometimes!).
One of my former pastors, a righteous man, one Sunday taught that the wine Jesus made from water – had no alcohol content. Unbelievable. Truly. There still are a few lunkheads who teach that!
That is a dumbhead, mistaken idea. But that pastor was not a false teacher. He so much hated the effects of alcohol, and the sins influenced by and acted upon through alcohol abuse… that he fell into an erroneous thinking – and actually preached it one Sunday morning in church.
The Bonafide False Teacher…a spiritual deviant
So yes, there are mistakes in teachings, but, on the other hand, the bonafide false teacher is beyond the bonehead. Just like the vegan fake beef is beyond the beef! It’s not really beef.
The Truth of God is the real beef, and the vegan’s fake beef is the false teaching. The fake beef “crosses the line” and goes beyond what is real, true beef. (Well, that at least makes sense to a meat lover!)
What is your definition of “false teacher”? Think about it.
A false teacher goes beyond just being a bonehead. They don’t just innocently misinterpret a portion of Scripture. They are pretending their word is God’s word. They are those who distort true Christianity! And that is why Scripture teaches we must call out false teachers.
The false teacher somehow begins to make his discovered “truth” a practice. They have a new revelation. Having fallen into “error”, they soon accept it as truth. Their “truth” is actually an error before God. But they stick to it: their error is their truth, and they begin to put it into practice, teaching others their new “truth”.
“Her prophets are reckless and treacherous men; Her priests have profaned the sanctuary; They have done violence to the law [by pretending their word is God’s word]. – Zephaniah 3: verse 4
They say God revealed it to them. They had a vision or a dream…. But actually — they in fact have seen nothing. How very very sad.
“I am against you”…declares the Lord God“.
That is evil… to claim your words are God’s words – when they are not. The Lord is against them: Ezekiel 13:8-9; Luke 11:23; 1 Peter 3:12. Do you really want God Almighty against you?
“Because you have spoken falsehood
and seen a lie,
…those “who see false visions and utter lying divinations”
The false teacher is a spiritual deviant, a stooge for Satan’s plan to pack-em-in, as many as possible in these End Days. He wants us all in his future home, Hell.
Going there yourself?
He/she sees “false visions” and dreams, speaks “lying divinations” (such as “word of faith”), is willfully misleading folk, is someone who practices their false beliefs, and leads the flock into his/her falsities.
“…who see (make up)
empty and delusive visions
and who give
– Amplified version of Ezekiel 13:8-9
2 Timothy 4:3-4 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, 4 and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable].
Followers of a sect
Followers of a sect (a specific deviant group) “accept the unacceptable” to follow false teachings – often not knowing their own group think, their own state of mind. And they certainly do not want to be reasoned with, as if “they” (heaven forbid!) are into false teachings.
As a result of accepting the unacceptable, Apostate churches become sects, with their false teachers and misled-congregants, following “another gospel”.
Characteristics of Apostates:
based on 2 Timothy 4:3-4
(1) Intolerant: they do not tolerate sound doctrine:
(2) Reject Truth: they reject accurate instruction of God’s Truth;
(3) Egocentric: they only want what they want, not the difficult Truth of God;
(4) Gather Like-minded: so they go running around gathering as many like-minded teachers as possible;
(5) Selfish Self-centered: they guardedly want to hear only teachers who will satisfy their own desires – not concerning themselves with God’s desires for them;
(6) Accumulate False Doctrines: they eagerly accumulate teachings that only “support the errors they hold”;
(7) Refuse Honest Engagement: they do not want to honestly engage with teachings of the Truth of God;
(8) Wander: without realizing where they are going (definition of “wander”) they end up further and further away from the Truth; and
(9) Create Another Gospel: they get seriously into “myths and man-made fictions“, thus creating “another gospel” — which Paul warns against getting into.
More on “another gospel”:
Should we not oppose deviants?
Some critics say we should not oppose others for their beliefs. “Let’s just all get along”, they say. “Do not criticize the teachings of any pastors and church leaders who claim to be Christians.”
Satan is increasing his attacks against true followers of Christ in these End Times. Look out there. I am seeing a concerted voice in the world pushing everyone to what they call “UNITY”. They call people “divisive” for expressing opposing views. They want us all to stop being vocal about biblical beliefs! And apostates do the same thing. Don’t get squeezed into their “think“.
When concerned Christians practice biblical criticism as the Bereans did: Apostates and misinformed church folk accuse them of “having a critical spirit”, of being unloving, or causing division in the Church.
They obambulate, wambulate, moan and groan, crying. To them, opposing a so-called fellow Christian’s deviation from biblically sound doctrine is “fighting against God!” They say, “Stop that.” And they quote Acts 5: verse 39 (Gamaliel) as their biblical advice.
These critics quote Gamaliel, a Pharisee of the Law, as their biblical authority (Acts 5:39). Amazing. Well, we need not take the advice of a Pharisee of Judaism. Gamaliel was not inspired of God.
False teachers say, “You are fighting against God!”
Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law [of Moses], is often quoted, from Acts 5:39. Among Gamaliel’s students was Saul of Tarsus, later known as the Apostle Paul (see BibleGateway Commentary for Acts 22:3). Gamaliel was counseling the Sadducees to reconsider their plans to kill the disciples of Jesus. Not speaking under inspiration of God, Gamaliel said:
“…I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men [merely human in origin], it will fail and be destroyed; 39 but if it is of God [and it appears that it is], you will not be able to stop them; or else you may even be found fighting against God!” – Acts 5:39
Gamaliel‘s words were true and good advice – against the wicked Sanhedrin, but those were words warning the Sanhedrin Council, the Jewish High Court, against killing the disciples (verse 40). The Council was about to kill God’s appointed messengers (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
Calling-out False Teachers
When a Bible teacher is calling-out false teachers, this advice of Gamaliel most certainly does not apply to him/her, for they are actually fighting against the evils of the erroneous thinking false teachers and what they spawn (not “fighting against God”).
Examine teachers and their teachings
To the contrary, the Bible teaches us to think “critically”. We are admonished to examine teachers, examine their teachings, to make sure they are “rightly dividing the Word of God”, watch out for “cleverly devised stories or myths” (2 Peter 1:16), to make sure folks are not falling into error. We are told specifically to do so. The Bible – read it:
Titus 1:9 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy word [of God] as it was taught to him, so that he will be able both to give accurate instruction in sound [reliable, error-free] doctrine and to refute those who contradict [it by explaining their error].
How to “refute”
A caution from the Aposte Paul warns us to be loving in all of our ways, guided by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 8:4)…
“as we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit.“
This, Galatians 6:1-5, written to anyone “caught in any sin”, applies to how to “refute” those who “contradict” the true Gospel: Do it with “a spirit of gentleness”.
“…you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.” – Galatians 6:1-5
Don’t minky with God’s Truth!
We must know the Bible well enough – so we can distinguish “nice” teachers from Truth teachers. Know your robbers well enough to see they are not of the Truth.
– adapted quote from the movie, Return of The Pink Panther, Seeing Eye Monkey (Minky – Meenky) (funny 1:17 minute illustration). Don’t minky with God’s Truth!
– Source: Watch out for the dogs!
When we see it, we are compelled to reveal it for what it is. Watch out! Some attractive false teachings are “cleverly devised stories or myths” (2 Peter 1:16): False teachings are not revelations from God. Don’t fall for their lies.
2 Corinthians 11:3-5
3 But I am afraid that, even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, your minds may be corrupted and led away from the simplicity of [your sincere and] pure devotion to Christ. 4 For [you seem willing to allow it] if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted. You tolerate all this beautifully [welcoming the deception].
False prophets “prophecy”…”the thing which the Lord has not spoken”
Deuteronomy 18:22 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
- “…the thing which the Lord has not spoken”
- “…has spoken it presumptuously“
The test is quite simple actually. IF a so-called prophet prophecies, or IF a congregant claims “a word from the Lord”…then you keep track of what they said and see if it becomes real. And later IF “the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken.” Presto-change-o”… God is against them and we should be also. Don’t attend that church.
The false prophets lack the ability to understand and perceive, they do not listen, and they have closed their eyes – “ lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted.”
Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and
seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
For the heart of this people is waxed gross,
and their ears are dull of hearing, and
their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart,
and should be converted.
– Acts 28:26-27
We are to be careful not to be “revilers” of others. We are to love. Love does not revile: “abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander”. In love, we are to use Scripture to refute errors, correct, and restore. (Galatians 6:1-5)
1 Corinthians 6:10 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers [whose words are used as weapons to abuse, insult, humiliate, intimidate, or slander], nor swindlers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.
Use Scripture as our sword to fight against deceptions
We don’t merely argue opinions. When speaking of biblical issues, opinions only cause further strife. Arguing opinions gets us nowhere but somewhere we do not want to be.
Use the Word of God to refute and correct and restore to the faith – restore to obedience (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16). With biblical perspective and love, “put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-20), and use Scripture as our sword to fight against deceptions.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed
[given by divine inspiration]
and is profitable for
for conviction [of sin],
[of error and restoration to obedience],
for training in righteousness
[learning to live in conformity
to God’s will, both publicly and privately
with personal integrity
and moral courage]….
Scripture warns us, in all interactions with so-called “brethren” who are in error: Careful lest you yourself fall.
…if anyone among you strays from the truth and falls into error and [another] one turns him back [to God], 20 let the [latter] one know that the one who has turned a sinner from the error of his way will save that one’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins….
Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith]
Now when they heard this, they were infuriated (v33)
Sometimes our faithfulness to Scripture will bring down fury upon us, like it did for Peter, John and “the apostles“. But, speaking in love, we are constrained by love and by the Spirit to warn against straying from the Truth: (2 Corinthians 5:14; Job 32:18; Acts 5:29-33)
Acts 5:29-33 29 Then Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men [we have no other choice]. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a [d]cross [and you are responsible]. 31 God exalted Him to His right hand as Prince and Savior and Deliverer, in order to grant repentance to Israel, and [to grant] forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.” 33 Now when they heard this, they were infuriated and they intended to kill the apostles.
That fury was from outside. But opposition also comes from within churches. Pastor John MacArthur said recently:
I’m an anti-hero; I’m treading, as it were, on people’s feelings; I’m invading the comfortable bed of their tolerances; I’m being divisive. But the truth always does that, always does that. The church is so ignorant about the gospel that when you preach the true gospel, you’re very liable to be vilified for it by the church. – Source: Saved or Self-Deceived, Part 1
Based on 2 Peter 1:1-4: “There is no “secret knowledge” or “better way” or alternative belief system which God has revealed to some unique group or teacher….” – Source: BibleGateway Footnote for 2 Peter 1:3.
Dire Warning… when you think you have special knowledge
BibleGateway Footnote: 2 Peter 1:3 There is no “secret knowledge” or “better way” or alternative belief system which God has revealed to some unique group or teacher. The truth is available to everyone.
When you begin to think
** that you and your church, and those of the “group” (like the NAR) that you are a part of —
** have something special that other churches do not understand, and do not have…
** you can know that you have separated yourself from the true teachings of the Bible.
Deuteronomy 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
NOTE: This Deuteronomy verse is especially scary since it pre-quotes Jesus. Jesus specified what He requires of us for salvation, the clear requisite of “sincerity and truth” and having a heart 100% given-over to God (not “sinless”, but 100% of your heart given to Him). In Luke 10:27, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all….” When “that prophet” (false prophet) comes, or you are tempted to agree with “that dreamer of dreams” (false prophet)… God wants you to turn away, reject “that…” and reaffirm your heart is still 100% Christ’s, that no part, a full-on 0% is following “that….”
Can’t be following Jesus if even 1% is following the Deceiver. You think?
Salvation is all about the penalty of sin, and what God requires of us to be made free of the penalty. It’s not about how much you’ve sinned, or how much you sin after salvation. God requires sincerity and truth.
The faker, false inside his soul, was never born again and has yet to yield the knee. Still lost and broken, the faker “christian” is a hollow suit, not who he claims to be. His issue is not “sin” or “sins”. The issue for all who birthed from a womb, is: yielding your will to God in sincerity and truth. (See both: Galatians 6:7-8; 1 Corinthians 5:8)
God wants all of me, not some fraction. And fakers fake, giving fractions. At least the transparent Godless sinner is honest about being a sinner! The faker is, well, the biggest loser in the end… because he/she “thought” they were just fine.
No fractions, pieces, parts of you….
– Source: Before a good cup a Joe
I am enough in Jesus
With each new convert down through the centuries since Jesus established His Church, His Spirit “has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:1-4). Believe it.
“…His divine power
has bestowed on us
[absolutely] everything necessary….”
– 2 Peter 1:1-4
False teachers, by nature of their mistaken beliefs, are always seeking more than what he Bible already gives us. They wander from the Gospel of Jesus Christ — seeking more.
To receive the salvation of Jesus — you must be genuine with God. Limited half-way commitments, or simply raising your hand in a service, or giving part of you to Jesus in bits and pieces… are not acceptable to God. The rich young ruler tried that with Jesus one night (maybe done at night so that his peers would not know he was searching…?). Jesus perceived this man’s heart, and said, “One thing you lack….”
If I pray to Jesus, but fail to make His ways – my ways, then how true was my “confession” and my promise to follow Him? How sincere was my “repentance”? How true? How sincere? I’d say: not at all! It’s not honest, not sincere – at all.
Do you say, “I am a person of faith”? What faith do you actually follow? Faith without resultant action that evidences that faith – is a fake faith, dead faith, useless – not real. Jesus does not save people of dead faith. – Source: Sincerity and Truth
3 For His divine power
has bestowed on us
[absolutely] everything necessary
for [a dynamic spiritual] life
– Verse 3 of 2 Peter 1:1-4
“Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
– John 14:9
However, God wants more from us – more yeildedness, more obedience, more growth in maturity, more faith in Him. He has called us to grow in maturity in Christ, following Him “with all my soul….” Nothing less than “all in” is enough. No bits and pieces – but all of me. He wants us to live “a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4).
And he will be
like a tree
by streams of water,
in its season;
Its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does,
[and comes to maturity].
In Christ I am enough. I’ve got it all, nothing needed, nothing missing. I am ready, steady and able because God Himself made me more than human, after all.
I have everything needed, in me, to live a godly life — because of the power of God in me… since that moment in time that God Himself made me a brand new creature inside. Same outside, new inside, for now, in my inner soul, the Holy Spirit resides in me in power. That is what happens to those who truly accept Jesus as their Savior. – Source: I am enough
Something special others in the Body of Christ do not have… (Luke 6:20)
There is no need for “a second blessing”, because His first blessing is absolutely enough. We are indwelt by Him immediately upon being made brand new. We are nowhere in Scripture told to look for more from Him than what we have at salvation. We have it all – in Christ through His Spirit. He sealed us by His Holy Spirit inside us.
When we are born again we are indwelt by His Spirit (Luke 3:16) and from then on we are to “keep being filled by His Spirit”. The common practice of seeking another Pentecost experience in the Spirit, like being “baptized in the Spirit”, is not Scripturally correct. Every day, through out the day, we are to “keep being filled”.
There is no need to be seeking further revelations from God – because it has all been revealed to us in Christ already. The Bible is enough. We will never receive further revelations in addition to what He has already given us in the Bible.
2 Peter 1:1-4 3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature.
Past tense, “He has bestowed….” Done. Finito. No need for more revelations. We already have all we need “for life and godliness”.
What the false teachers do (their fake visions and fake “revelations”) is based on wanting more and wanting something different: more than what God deemed enough, and different, because of “disreputable desire” that comes from the world and it’s “immoral freedom”.
Colossians 2:23 23 These practices indeed have the appearance [that popularly passes as that] of wisdom in self-made religion and mock humility and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but are of no value against sinful indulgence [because they do not honor God].
Don’t let the world press you into it’s mold, it’s understanding of things. Be instead transformed “by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Stick to the Bible.
and progressively changed
[as you mature spiritually]”
– Romans 12:2
False prophets, false teachers and errant congregants — they dishonor God by not believing His Word already given. They dishonor God when they persist in seeking more of God and different experience and knowledge. When folks persist in this, they go astray into false experience and false teachings.
All of God came to abide inside us at salvation. He, in the form of His Holy Spirit, is already there! We don’t need more of God. We need more of our self surrendered, obedient to God.
It so very much, very, very much, pains me to think of anyone separating themselves from the faith to pursue “another gospel”, full of spiritual arrogance to think you have something special others in the Body of Christ do not have (Luke 6:20). They are putting themselves in eternal danger. It is the worst of tragedies.
What a tragedy –
the oft repeated Judas tragedy, where you hang around Jesus, but end up belonging to Satan. That’s the real tragedy.
There are pastors who fit into this category; they’re not even Christians. And churches are filled with people. Some, quote-unquote, “churches” are made up almost all of non-Christians who are deceived about their true spiritual condition.
And so, it’s important for us to hear the words of the Lord. If I’m concerned about this issue, believe me, He’s far more concerned about it as well. – John MacArthur
John MacArthur put it distinctly well, “there is a broad road that says heaven but goes to hell.”
“We don’t need anything more than what is clearly in the Bible, “for His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness.” See: 2 Peter 1:1-4. Source – Find this here: The Bethel Johnsons’ unbiblical teachings
How wrong can one be and still be following Jesus?
We are not saved by knowledge, nor by “getting it” all right. Of course not. But:
How wrong can one be – and still be born again, still be actually following Jesus?
Read James 5:19-20
- Mormons are not. Smith was a “Christian” pastor. He led them astray.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses are not.
- Buddists are not.
- Want to test God and …stick with your apostate doctrines?
- Is there now anyone in Heaven that God is “against”? Think about that! (God threw out the rebel Satan and a third of all the host of angels who rebelled with Satan….)
- In the future will there be saints living in Heaven that God is “against”?
- If God is against you – do you think He will let you into His Kingdom? (Deuteronomy 18:15-22) Really?
- If they stoned to death the false prophets in the Old Testament times – do you think God will change His ways at the gates to His Kingdom, or in His Courts? (“Sure”, God says, “Just come on in. I’m against you but… I have to make exceptions sometime.”) NOT!
We are on earth to speak on His behalf, as His followers. See: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. It is a great responsibility, teaching what God has given to us in His Word. False teachers start veering away from being His ambassador and get lost in their own “robbers’ [c]den” mentalities (Matthew 21:13). If we want to follow God – why would anyone stray from what God already so clearly said in the Bible?
Calling out false teachers… those who distort true Christianity!
About staying true and faithful to Jesus …all you wanted to know (and more) about false teachings vs truth
God is not some mere figment (“a thing that someone believes to be real but that exists only in their imagination” – Google). He is real. And He is awesome. Truly awesome.
Down through the ages people have allowed their thinking to be totally beguiled into believing God is something other than who He really is. Why follow something that is not real? Misguided men and women just “up and made” their own brands of religions. God is not in those religions.
Religions have sprung up all over – figment religions, following after perhaps well-meant ideas, but… only ideas, theories, and some really really strange fabrications. You’d have to be a stupid ass to follow some, while others are quite charming and …beguiling. Maybe you are in one today?
I am not the sum of all my sins… and neither are you!
I’m not what he says I am… (what Satan says…)
More on: “another gospel”:
- merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dumbhead: airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, bubblehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, clodpoll (or clodpole), clot [British], cluck, clunk, cretin, cuddy (or cuddie) [British dialect], deadhead, dim bulb [slang], dimwit, dip, dodo, dolt, donkey, doofus [slang], dope, dork [slang], dullard, dum-dum, dumbbell, dummkopf, dummy, dunce, dunderhead, fathead, gander, golem, goof, goon, half-wit, hammerhead, hardhead, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, lamebrain, loggerhead [chiefly dialect], loon, lump, lunkhead, meathead, mome [archaic], moron, mug [chiefly British], mutt, natural, nimrod [slang], nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, noddy, noodle, numskull (or numbskull), oaf, pinhead, prat [British], ratbag [chiefly Australian], saphead, schlub (also shlub) [slang], schnook [slang], simpleton, stock, stupe, stupid, thickhead, turkey, woodenhead, yahoo, yo-yo. German: dummkopf