WHO ARE THEY AND HOW ARE PEOPLE DECEIVED?
Sincerity of belief is often confused with soundness of belief. The great British Prine Minister Benjamin Disraeli once stated: “What is the earnest is not always true; on the contary, error is often more earnest than truth.”
This is the first means by which people are deceived. Many times a false belief is built on scripture. Every Christian heresy is based on a false understanding of scripture. In fact the best lies are 90% true.
The only remedy for this is to have a devotion to the word of truth.
2 Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
False teachers always come into the churches in the same fashion:
1 Ti 4:1 Now the Sprit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing sprits, and doctrines of devils;
People will abandon the faith and give heed to seducing sprits. These seducing sprits come via the mouths and the pens of false teachers and the source of all this is demonic!
In the face of heresy and deceit only those who have an intimate knowledge of the truth will be able to stand firm and confident, and abouve all CALM!
Ps 119:165 Great peace have they with love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
The two major routes through which error enter into the mind of Christians is through “Liberalism” and “Legalism”.
The liberalists place the main emphasis on their concept of what “love” is and what the “Sprit” is to the exclusion of sound principles of scripture, which they see as being “legalistic”.
Legalists place the main emphasis on their concept of keeping rules and regulations, often manmade – sometines based on scripture – and they reject any kind of emotional feelings as being of the flesh and carnal!
Both mishandle the Word of truth, one despises Biblical orthodoxy the other despises freedom.
The liberal teacher sees that UNITY is the main thing, but a unity based on common experience rather than commonly held beliefs. Liberal teachers often promote the idea of continual revelation of doctrine which they assert comes directly from God Himself to the point where this will generally contradict biblical doctrines!
Liberal teachers will denounce dogmatism, whilst being even more dogmatic about their beliefs.
Liberal teachers will have an ambiguous attitude towards sinful practices, especially in the area of sexuality. Liberals often are Antinomian in practice; believing that “being saved” justifies sinful behaviour!
Legalist teachers, on the other hand, often display an attitude that they are the only ones with truth.
Their emphasis is often on the need to keep certain traditions, ceremonies and rituals. Hierarchies are inportant to the legalist and followers are made to feel subservient to Priests, Pastor’s, Bishops and/or Elders! These divide the church into two “Clergy and Laity”, whereas in Christ we are ALL priests unto God, ALL members of the Body of Christs co-dependent upon one another!
True there can be a mixture of Liberalism and Legalism in various groups.
Another route by which people fall away from truth is through the acceptance of ALL of signs, wonders, and “spritual” experiences. If the sprit of God is active then it will be accompanied by sound doctrine and the fruit of the Holy Sprit.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Sprit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Ga 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
False teachers promote covetousness and disguise it as godliness:
…….destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself……..
These people will promote the idea that godliness will lead everyone into material success and prosperity.
Any one who teaches such should be avoided like the plague!
copyright © 2004 John Hayworth.