Is it from God? How do we know today if the things we see and hear taught about on the earth today in the name of God is truly from God? Is it from the one true God? This is a very serious question for us to ponder today. With radio, television, print magazines, now the internet, pod cast, you tube, God tube, etc. there is an endless amount of media outlets at the disposal of people to put their doctrine or teachings in circulation.
However, Paul long ago warned us not to allow ourselves any occasion of hearing or accepting any form of doctrine that comes around. Just because someone says I believe in God and manage to create a following of people, does not mean that what they are teaching is from God. Has the Holy Spirit of God truly regenerated them and baptized them into Christ mystical body?
Paul warned the Christians over nineteen hundred years (1900) ago that they were to beware of False Teachers. Paul said that there were many of them about in the land during his day. If there were many then, how many more are there you suppose today? During the time, that Paul wrote this warning; none of the above media outlets existed. Despite that fact, Paul said there were many of them present in that day. How can we judge whether someone is teaching or preaching for God and has truly been sent by God with the true message of the gospel of Christ? Is it the real gospel and not a watered down version?
First, we must examine what they teach. What they teach must be consistent with the Bible. The Apostle Paul (who certainly was not a False Teacher) went into the synagogue of the Jews in Berea to preach the gospel and the Bible says the Berean Jews did not take Paul's words at face value, but they searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul and Barnabas were saying was true. This must be our mind set today diligently to search the Word of God to be able to identify False Teaching from that, which is true. The religious people ignorantly thought Christ to be a False Teacher during His time on earth.
John 7:14-17 When the Feast was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple [court] and began to teach. The Jews were astonished. They said, How is it that this Man has learning [is so versed in the sacred Scriptures and in theology] when He has never studied? Jesus answered them by saying, My teaching is not My own, but His Who sent Me. If any man desires to do His will (God's pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority. (Quick Amplified Bible)
You see the Lord Jesus will give any of us discernment if we desire to do His will. He will give us illumination to know if a man or woman is teaching His truth or if they are distorting His Holy Word. Without an intimate abiding relationship with Him, it is not easy to spot these counterfeits active in the land today. Because you see these, are very cunningly clever men going about with great swelling speech deceiving many by appealing to the flesh of men and women?
Their camouflage is very convincing and appealing to weak and unstable souls loaded down with sins and led away by various lusts, learning, but never being able to come to the knowledge of the truth. They do not know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but they sound as if they do. Many of them are motivated not by seeing lost people come to truly know Christ and be changed by His amazing grace, but by profit. They want to see their bank accounts grow and grow by telling people what they want to hear, but not what they need to hear.
They will speak and write books all to increase their own personal earthly wealth. Peter warned us that these men would secretly bring in destructive heresies. The Lord Jesus Christ gives us the ultimate test for us to recognize these men in John 7:18.
John 7:18 He who speaks on his own authority seeks to win honor for himself. [He whose teaching originates with himself seeks his own glory.] But He Who seeks the glory and is eager for the honor of Him Who sent Him, He is true; and there is no unrighteousness or falsehood or deception in Him. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Here is the decisive test. The Glory of God should be the goal of every true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and Bible Teacher. He or she should not be trying to win honor, fame, or fortune for themselves, but only teaching that which glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and brings men and woman to Him.
Paul and Barnabas spoke to a crippled man at Lystra. They commanded him to stand up straight and the man began leaping and walking. Well, the pagan idolaters there thought Paul and Barnabas were gods and they began to worship them. Well, did Paul and Barnabas allow this worship of them to continue or did they condone it?
Acts 14:14-15 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothing and dashed out among the crowd, shouting, Men, why are you doing this? We also are [only] human beings, of nature like your own, and we bring you the good news (Gospel) that you should turn away from these foolish and vain things to the living God, Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that they contain. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Paul and Barnabas never wanted anyone to look to them as if they were somebody, but only that the living God (the Lord Jesus Christ) receive all the glory and that man would turn to Him for salvation.
The Bible has endured ridicule, persecution, and attempts to destroy it from the earth, mocking, scorning, and all types of threats to extinguish it from people’s ability to access its content. Despite all types of attempts by the devil through evil men to destroy the Word of God, it has endured and will endure forever.
The Lord Jesus Christ told the entire world and us that Heaven and Earth would pass away, but His Word would remain forever. Now the devil having tried literally to destroy the Bible has found it to be impossible. So now he is going, about to distort the Bible by teaching that all the content of the Bible, God did not inspire.
Through False Teachers, the devil is working tirelessly to make men and women not trust the Bible's content. These False Teachers are not mad men yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs on street corners, but to the contrary, they are highly educated and sophisticated Theologians in many Seminary Schools or Bible Colleges throughout the world.
They occupy pulpits all over this world. Many have written and published numerous books on Theology and Christian Living. Many of the Books received great acclaim and recognition by the Christian community and even the secular world.
For example, I heard a very highly respected Pastor say on a secular television show during an interview, “I purposely don't put much Scripture in any of my books; if I do I place them in the back of the book.” Am I nit picking or sounding an alarm?
The Word of God (along with God the Holy Spirit) is responsible for convicting men and women of their lost and sinful condition. How could someone who knows and loves the Lord Jesus Christ de-emphasize the Word of God? Christ is the Word made flesh. The Word of God (along with God the Holy Spirit) produces the new birth. Without the sowing of the Word of God into the hearts of sinners, there would not ever be any person born again.
This is the purpose of the enemy to try to trivialize the necessity of the sowing of the Word of God. Paul, Peter, Jude, and the other early Apostles sounded the alarm a long time ago and it appears that throughout the many centuries that have passed not to many people have heard and awakened out of sleep. A mandate given to me by my Lord Jesus Christ to warn my brethren is of uttermost concern to me. Infiltration has replaced the thought of external destruction. Jude warned us of these men.
Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in stealthily [gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (Quick Amplified Bible)
Second, I believe we must examine and scrutinize (as best we can) their lives in public and private. It is as sure as the sun shining everyday, that every False Teacher will be living a lifestyle of sin and corruption (being polluted by this world, in love with this world and the things therein) while promising others liberty they themselves will still be enslaved by the flesh.
Paul said, “They would have eyes full of adultery and they cannot stop from sin.” Wow, this is frightening to know that some people will be teaching from the Bible that do not even know the Lord Jesus Christ and are not under the control of the Holy Spirit.
I am not speaking of true believers and true Bible Teachers being sinless and perfect while still down here on this earth. The earth cursed by Adam’s fall and sin is still a problem. However, I am saying what the Word of God says. The dominion of sin holds not the True Bible Teacher ever again.
The Blood of the Lamb will free their conscience and their hearts and consequently they will not be afraid to say what God says from His Word. They also will be empowered by the grace of God to live out the words of Scripture everyday. The true Bible Teacher will meditate upon the Lord's Word continually. Soaking and saturating his mind with God's thoughts everyday.
He will exemplify the mind of Christ in his thinking, his stance on controversial issues in the world, and his belief and adherence to the moral principles spelled out in the Word of God. He will always have a Biblical World view. He will never stand along side popular opinion, if that opinion is in contradiction to the Word of God. He will stand on the Rock that is Christ and not waver one bit from the truth. The Lord Jesus said, “I came into this world for one purpose and that is to testify or bear witness of the truth, everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”
The true Bible Teacher has heard the voice of the Son of God. He follows Him, led by His Words from Genesis to Revelation. The true Bible Teacher will never add to the Word or take from it. He will present it just as our Lord Jesus Christ commands, in its true context and historical setting. The true Bible Teacher will be a man governed by integrity and honesty. He will be as Joshua was after the death of Moses. He will always listen to the wisdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Quick Amplified Bible)
His private conduct (when no other human beings are watching) will be the same as his open public conduct. What he watches and listens to will not be degrading, vulgar, or demeaning literature or material. His thought life will be governed by the Word of God. When he fails (and he will stumble), he will not attempt to cover it up or make excuses before the Lord Jesus Christ or men and women, but he will openly confess, forsake, and leave that wrong behavior and be cleansed by the Blood of Christ.
1 John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This is the promise made to all the true children of God and Bible Teachers and not to those who pervert the gospel of Christ for profit or to promote lewd living. Both fall but one stays down (because of death working in the soul) and the other gets up by the power that is inherent in the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The true Teacher will strive tirelessly in the Scriptures soaking them with his prayers to extract the Lord's truth from His Word that what he speaks or writes might edify the saints and bring the lost to conviction, repentance, and faith in Christ Jesus.
1 John 2:27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
The true Teacher can never be led into error for it is God the Holy Spirit teaching him everyday from the great depths and riches of the Word that He Authored through those forty- (40) different men.
Finally, we must be very diligent in prayer today and ask God the Holy Spirit to reveal to us those who truly know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. For every person who has encountered the living Christ will never ever pervert His Word for gain or attempt to lead people into error by speaking or writing things that appeal to their flesh. The true Teacher sent from the Lord Jesus Christ, always and only has His Glory as the goal.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)