False Teachers

Three Common Errors of False Teachers

by Mike Gendron

November 9, 2015

  •  Since we are now living in the age of religious tolerance and ecumenical unity, there are some people who will immediately call this article unloving and divisive. Others will ask, “What right do you have to judge another religion?” The answer is given in Scripture. All God-fearing people are called to make right judgments, judgments that have already been established by the objective principles of God’s Word (John 7:24). There may be nothing more important than warning people who are being deceived about their eternal destiny. If we do not lovingly confront them with God’s Gospel, they may never know how to escape the eternal fire of God’s punishment. Clearly, the most unloving thing we can do is to ignore them and let them continue down the road to destruction. For this reason, I am always willing to offend people with the offense and exclusivity of the Gospel in the hopes that God may grant some of them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2: 25). Let us look at three fatal errors of false prophets and how to handle them.


False Teachers Usurp the Authority of God

  •  The supreme authority of the Bible is established both by its divine origin and inspiration (2 Pet. 1:21). It is the infallible Word of God, and it will accomplish God’s purpose (Isaiah 55:11). It is the very foundation upon which all Christian truths rest. For followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is the final court of appeal in all matters pertaining to faith and godliness. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The divine authority of Scripture corrects and rebukes all false teaching because there is no higher authority or infallible source in which to appeal. It is the Word of God, and God cannot lie, cannot break His promise and cannot deceive.
  •  People fall into serious error and sin when they exalt their own authority over God’s authority or when they suppress the truth of God’s Word to promote their own self-serving agendas. The Roman Catholic religion has done this by establishing its traditions and teachings to be equal in authority with Scripture (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] par. 82). In doing so, it has usurped the supreme authority of our sovereign God who alone has the right to rule and determine the eternal destinies of men. This fatal error has opened the flood gates to numerous other deadly heresies including: the preaching of another gospel, the worship of a counterfeit Jesus, the buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences, the creation of a fictitious place called purgatory, the establishment of other mediators and praying to and for the dead. These errors are fatal because anyone who is embracing them when they take their last breath will experience eternal death.
  •  Catholics who are being deceived by these fatal errors must be told that the world has known only one infallible teacher. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the personification of truth and every word He spoke was truth (John 14:617:17). Those who are seeking the truth need to look only to Christ and His Word. The Catholic religion has become corrupt the same way Judaism became corrupt – by following the traditions of men instead of the Word of God (Mark 7:13). The Pharisees taught much truth, but by mixing it with error, they “made the word of God of no effect.” We must never forget that the Bible is what God says and religion is what man says God says.

False Teachers Distort the Person of Christ

  •  Jesus Christ is God’s perfect man and man’s perfect God. He is the perfect High Priest who offered Himself – the perfect sacrifice – once for the sins of His people. This one sin offering has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Heb. 10:14). For this reason there are no more offerings for sin (Heb. 10:18). The believer’s eternal sin debt was paid in full and their redemption was secured when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom. 4:25). Would there be false teachers who would deny this and steal away the honor and glory of our Savior?
  •  Yes, Paul even warned us that some would come preaching another Jesus. They will offer a counterfeit Jesus “whom we [the apostles] have not preached” (2 Cor. 11:4). Many of these false teachers are Roman Catholics who preach a “Jesus” who does not save sinners completely and forever. They say Catholics must do their part by expiating and making satisfaction for their own sins through penance (CCC, 1459). In this way they attain their own salvation through good works (CCC, 1477). The Catholic Jesus offers conditional life, not eternal life (CCC, 1035). This counterfeit Christ is said to return physically to Catholic altars over 200,000 times each day to be a sin offering for the living and the dead (CCC, 1367).


  •  Catholics must be warned of the consequences for not knowing and believing the true Jesus. This was made clear by Jesus when He said: “unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Whenever religion rejects God’s authority, it creates “another Jesus” which always leads to “another gospel.” Why? Because whenever the sufficiency of Christ is denied, another gospel must be concocted to instruct people what they must do to be saved.


False Teachers Pervert the Gospel of Christ

  •  The Gospel is the joyous proclamation of God’s redeeming work through Jesus Christ which saves His people from the punishment, power and ultimately, the presence of sin. It is the one and only message of redemption and the same message for every generation (Eph. 4:4-6Rev. 14:6). Since the Gospel is about one Savior, it is exclusive and thus declares that all other faiths and religions are false (John 14:6Mat. 7:13-14). This glorious Gospel declares that salvation is entirely of grace and those who add anything to it stand condemned (Gal. 1:6-9). It comes as no surprise that the most popular perversion of the Gospel is the fatal lie that good works or inherent righteousness are necessary to appease a holy God. Every religion in the world perpetrates this lie of the devil. However, Satan’s oldest and most deadly lie is “You surely shall not die” (Gen. 3:4). This lie is still spread in Catholicism (CCC, 1863).
  •  Why would any religious leader want to distort the glorious Gospel of grace? The primary reason is to control people by holding them captive in legalistic bondage. It is for this reason the Lord Jesus gave the mark of a true disciple. He said, “If you abide in My word…and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). People in religious bondage can only be set free when they come to a knowledge of the truth found in Scripture.


  •  Roman Catholicism is not alone in perverting the Gospel of God. There are many cults and Protestant sects which do the same. Catholicism, however, not only deceives its people with a false gospel, but foolishly condemns those who believe the true Gospel. Over 100 condemnations from the Council of Trent are pronounced on Christians who believe the Lord Jesus is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever. The Catholic “gospel” emphasizes what man must DO to be saved instead of what Christ has DONE. This would include the necessity of doing good works (CCC, 2016), receiving sacraments (1129), attending meritorious masses (1405), keeping the law (2068), buying indulgences (1498) and purgatory (1030).


False Teachers Must Be Confronted

  •  We must never let doctrinal error go unabated because it dishonors God and deceives the unsuspecting. It defiles the conscience, corrupts the heart and destroys the soul. According to Scripture, that which flows from the lips of false teachers includes: “strange doctrines,” “commandments of men,” “doctrines of devils,” “damnable heresies,” “traditions of men,” “lies,” “falsehood,” “vain deceit” and “deceptive philosophy.” Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord at all times and in all cases (Prov. 12:22). Knowing the fruit of false teachers, we must earnestly contend against them. Peter and Paul said false teachers cause believers to fall from their steadfastness and pure devotion to Christ (2 Pet. 3:172 Cor. 11:3). They disagree with the words of Jesus and bring constant friction within the church (1 Tim. 6:4-5). They give rise to speculation and fruitless discussion which hinder the purposes of God (1 Tim. 1:4-6).


  •  Many who profess Christ are no longer embracing sound doctrine because they want their ears tickled and are seeking teachers who will do just that (2 Tim. 4:2). Using the Word of God, we must be ready to reprove, rebuke and exhort with great patience and instruction. Those who have been entrusted with the truth must take a stand against those who try to lead men astray. Even when Peter was not straightforward about the truth of the Gospel, Paul withstood him to his face, and rebuked him sharply (Gal. 2:11-14). Jude exhorted us to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Those who refuse to defend God’s truth are demonstrating their lack of passion for the truth. We must love the truth and hate every false way (Ps. 119:104). Let us never be intimidated by false teachers because “the fear of man brings a snare” (Prov. 29:25).


The Battle for Truth

  •  Let us be mindful of the words of A.W. Tozer, who wrote: “So skilled is error at imitating truth that the two are constantly being mistaken for each other. It is therefore critically important that the Christian take full advantage of every provision God has made to save him from delusion – prayer, faith, constant meditation of the Scriptures, obedience, humility and the illumination of the Holy Spirit” (That Incredible Christian).
  •  We need to ask God for courage and boldness as we rely on the power of His Word. May we all become more like the apostles who were strong, bold, fearless, dogmatic, unaccommodating of error, courageous, intolerant of sin, inflexible concerning the Gospel, controversial, willing to die for the truth and fully devoted to Christ. We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Eph. 4:14). During these times of great deception, the Body of Christ must respond with a theological, biblical worldview that defends the glory and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must protect the purity of His Gospel for the sake of His elect.

What Would Jesus Fly?

From a secular writer, this article at Huffington Post says it all. If you follow the teachings of a man like Dollar and think he is a true man of God, then you have been duped by Satan himself. This man is a fraud, a shyster, nothing more than a carnival side-show trying to masquerade as a messenger of the Most High God of heaven.


Here is what the apostle Paul has to say about people like Creflo in 2 Corinthians 11.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

The article includes this choice tidbit – “World Changers Church International said, ‘A long-range, high-speed, intercontinental jet aircraft is a tool that is necessary in order to fulfill the mission of the ministry.'”

How strange – the tool Christ found necessary to fulfill the mission of the ministry was a rough, blood-soaked crown of thorns and a wooden cross!

For the record – the Savior HUMBLED Himself and found Himself despised and rejected by men. He found nowhere to lay His precious head and did not lay up treasures upon earth. Creflo can have all he wants down here because this is all he will ever have because judgment is coming in the next.

False Teachers

Several years ago, my wife took up the job of organizing the library of the church we were members of. She found some material that looked questionable and asked me to help her figure out which authors should be put in the closet on the “heresy shelf”.

I spent several weeks reading books and researching popular authors and developed a “cheat sheet” of false teachers and a sample of the heresy they taught. Below is a screen shot, the file (6 pages) can be downloaded here.

While I hope this is useful, please note that it is not up to date – some of the newer false teachers this site has brought to light are not included. But the people on this list are behind most of the folks now popular that we should be aware of.

Be on your guard, for the deceiver prowls around like a lion looking for his next meal. A little leaven leavens the whole lump – so do not buy the lie that you should “chew up the meat and spit out the bones.” Test everything – hold to that which is good. When you determine a man (or a woman) to be a false teacher, from such, turn away.

May Day! May Day! Don’t let the swindlers lead you astray!

The Tithe

It is arguably the most pervasive doctrine of the Church, so well-received that even those who ardently decry any other form of abusive ministry will just as fervently defend this doctrine.

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes, says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:8-11).

This one passage, very familiar to anyone who has attended church faithfully for a period of time, has done much to burden the Christian with something that doesn’t even apply to him.

Without going into a great amount of detail, the comparisons between the Old Testament law of tithes and offerings and the New Testament principles of giving contrast so sharply that it is virtually impossible to ignore the differences.

For one thing, the O.T. tithes were directed toward the nation of Israel. The above verse indicates that quite clearly. It was a physical demonstration of the Jewish people in covenant relationship with the LORD. It was both the individual Jew’s and the entire nation of Israel’s duty to tithe on order to fulfill the Law. If he/they didn’t tithe, they were cursed.

There is no such thing as a nation of Christians. Our covenant is one of the heart. Christ has already fulfilled the Law in us (Romans 8:3-4). The mandated, outward observance of religious statutes (such as circumcision and tithes) have been done away. When Paul heard that Judaizers were attempting to bring circumcision into the Christian community, he placed anathema on them for subverting the law of grace (Galatians 1:6-9). The whole point of the book of Galatians was to show that we are no longer under the Law, nor could the Law make us righteous (Galatians 3:10-11). Since it says in verse 10 that everyone who practices the Law must abide by every point, or he is cursed, it is clear that circumcision is also implied, as were the temple practices, the priesthood, etc. Since these things are no longer in practice for the Christian, tithing falls right into the same area. Also, since Malachi curses those who do not tithe, and we are told in Galatians 3:13 that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, it is evident that both cannot apply.

Also, it is obvious that the Old Testament tithe was a requirement–no exceptions. But we are told in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that we are not to give under compulsion (or requirement), but to give as we ourselves purpose to give from our heart.

The tithes were used to support the Levitical priesthood for service at the Temple (Numbers 18:21-30). In the New Testament, all believers make up the priesthood (Revelation 1:6), and believers themselves are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), the only temple where God dwells.

One more critical point should bring the argument in favor of a tithe to a screeching halt. The tithes were assessed only the increase of the crops and cattle of the Jews, and was paid in crops and cattle (Deuteronomy 14:22-23). Only if a person lived too far from the temple to make the yearly trip with a caravan of goods could he convert the tithe into money, and add one-fifth to the price (Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14: 24-25).

Now, it is a great leap to say that the local church building now represents the Temple where the tithes were stored, and since it is too far to bring our cattle, produce, new wine, etc., then we are permitted to bring our money instead. But then, remember that we must add one-fifth to the price, thereby giving more than the traditional 10% tithe. And all this to support the Levitical priesthood, which, symbolically is now the local pastor…

You can see where this is all going. The argument falls apart when taken in context. Now, certainly we should give, and that generously, for we own nothing. We are only stewards of what belongs to God anyway. But twisting the financial arm of the average church-goer or laying a heavy burden of guilt on him for failure to fulfill an unwarranted expectation is Pharisaical.

“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty put in all she owned, all she had to live on'” (Mark 12:41-44). (The above is by author unknown, found by me years ago.)

We see here, at the last, a revelation from the Lord that giving is a matter of the soul. Read the sermon on the mount and see the comparison between sheep and goats – each group did the same things, but the sheep did so unto the brothers of Christ, knowing only that they loves the redeemed brotherhood; and the goats gave without knowledge of love, thinking they were honoring the Lord. This reminds us that the righteousness of deeds done in our flesh is rubbish, while the small things we do in the Spirit of God are pure gold.

Not everyone who teaches tithing is a swindler. A.W. Pink is an example of such a man. Yet the teaching of tithing is, in my opinion, the result of not seeing the theology of the Kingdom of God rightly, being too concerned with earthly things and the continuation of Israel as seen with eyes of flesh.

For more reading, including a couple of free ebooks, check out http://www.tithingdebate.com/

The battle cry of The Reformation was – and still must be – Soli Deo Gloria! Let nothing we do be less.