How do we know when a teaching is false ? The answer is simple….The Bible.
We have the Bible for
instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
It’s not “religious” to rely on the Bible to test what is being taught from the pulpit or online.
You are not being a “Pharisee” if you want Scriptural proof or references for what someone is teaching.
You are being wise.
I am NOT saying that everything must be seen in the Bible for it to be true.
I AM saying that doctrines or teachings or even the filters through which we view the world MUST be found in the Word of God.
False teachers will use one of the following tactics to push their message….
- Control access to the Word of God (remember the Dark Ages ?)
- Add to the Word of God (how many cults or cult mindsets start with this ?)
- Subtract from the Word of God (stating that the Old Testament is irrelevant or this section of the Bible was written under the Abrahamic, Davidic, or Mosaic covenant and has no meaning for us today under the New Covenant)
- Negate the Word of God (we only need to listen to what the “Spirit” is telling us}
- Claim a new understanding of the nature of God based on progressive or fuller revelation
- Speak manipulative or control based statements (if you don’t catch this wave or if you don’t understand this…..then you are going to miss the next wave or be in over your head for what God is going to reveal next)
- Ignore the Cross and ignore the cost. ( Become a Super Hero, Awaken the Giant and Release The Beast, Change The World By Being That Elite Person You Know You Are etc….,)
- Ignorance or willing ignorance of church history
- Consistently refer people to a book written by a likeminded teacher to prove their beliefs instead of referring them to the Word of God. (For example….. 88 Reasons the Rapture Will Be In 1988 or Raptureless An Optimistic Guide to the End of the World. Both of these books are “fad” books pushed by fellow followers….once reality settles in or the Word of God is allowed to speak….it’s embarrassing to remember that you once read them.)
Let me end with two examples.
I read an article yesterday where a teacher claimed that we have misunderstood the nature of God. He wrote that………
God is too good and loving to proclaim judgment or pour out wrath.
Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction was not an act of God’s wrath or judgment. We have misunderstood this for centuries, no sin would be justification enough for God to destroy two cities.
We misunderstand the Flood if we think it was God’s anger or wrath or judgment.
Ananias and Sapphira were killed by Peter because Peter cursed them out of anger (and sinned) and God had nothing to do with it. Peter had to repent for releasing this new power of the Holy Spirit in a sinful way.
Here is my belief on that vein of teaching……..
If you remove the teaching of eschatological judgment or His righteous justice then you are creating a god out of your own desires and are a false teacher. That’s just my opinion. The person who wrote the article (and trust me….this line of “teaching” is becoming more and more prominent) has decided to define the nature of God according to his own thoughts, emotions, and will. He cannot reconcile the righteous justice of God with his notion of the goodness of God. Therefore, he views the Word through his chosen filter and throws out anything that contradicts the god he has created. This is childish and immature thinking. He is basically saying “This is the god I want, and no matter what the Bible says….I am going to get it.” Sound like a golden calf to anyone else ?
Let’s see what the Bible says about the flood and Sodom and judgment.
2 Peter 2:1-9
Just as false prophets rose up in the past among God’s people, false teachers will rise up in the future among you. They will slip in with their destructive opinions, denying the very Master who bought their freedom and dooming themselves to destruction swiftly, 2 but not before they attract others by their unbridled and immoral behavior. Because of them and their ways, others will criticize and condemn the path of truth we walk as seedy and disreputable. 3 These false teachers will follow their greed and exploit you with their fabrications, but be assured that their judgment was pronounced long ago and their destruction does not sleep.
4 For God did not spare the heavenly beings who sinned, but He cast them into the dark pits of hell to be kept until the time of judgment; 5 and He did not spare the ancient world, but He sent a flood swirling over the ungodly (although He did save Noah, God’s herald for what is right, with seven other members of his family); 6 and God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ash as a lesson of what He will do with the ungodly in the days to come 7-8 (although again He did rescue Lot, a person who did what was right in God’s eyes and who was distressed by the immorality and the lawlessness of the society around him. Day after day, the sights and sounds of their lawlessness were like daggers into that good man’s soul). 9 If all this happened in the past, it shows clearly the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials and how to hold the wicked in punishment until the day of judgment.
Will you believe the Word of God or the word of a man? Grandiose sophistry or the Bible?
Teachers of “open theism” state that God is….
God IS “cognitively dependent on the world and his knowledge changes as history changes.”
God “faces a partly unsettled future because genuinely free decisions cannot be entirely predicted prior to being taken.”
God” does not get what he wants because of the decision He made to create the sort of world in which God does not get everything he wants.”
The “path of the cross came through God’s interaction with humans in history. Until that moment in history, other routes were, perhaps, open.”
Here is my belief on open theism and those who teach it. Their mind is their golden calf. Intellectual pride is their motive for producing “grandiose sophistry”….again. How do we know ? Remember the Word ? What does it say ?
Ephesians 1 (Amplified)
Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the divine will (the purpose and the choice of God) to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones) [a]at Ephesus who are also faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus:
2 May grace (God’s unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!
4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.
5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [[b]because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—
6 [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,
8 Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),
9 Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in [c]Him,
10 [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.
11 In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,
12 So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!
13 In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit.
14 That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints (the people of God),
16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),
19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],
21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.
22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],
23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
“ All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
1 Peter 1:18-21
And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.