False Teachers Teach Some Truth
By: Brian A. Yeager
Numerous times I have discussed the Scriptures with someone and have shown them that they’re following a false teacher only to get this response: “But, he teaches just from the Bible.” Folks, false teachers do not walk up to people and admit that they are false teachers. Satan himself used Scriptures when he personally promoted error (Matthew 4:1-11). It would be very easy to spot a false teacher if they never used Scriptures. It would even be easy to spot a false teacher who very clearly abused Scriptures. False teachers are cunning. They twist the Scriptures (II Peter 3:16-17), but they still use Scriptures when they teach. This is why the word of God tells us that false teachers appear to be faithful, but they really are predators.
They’re Not What They Appear To Be
Notice these Scriptures, which prove that false teachers work hard to look like they are really teachers of the truth: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves… For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears… But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 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” (Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29-31, and II Corinthians 11:12-15).
Brethren, false teachers are sneaky (II Peter 2:1-3). Those who teach error use lies to hide their doctrines (Jeremiah 14:14). False teachers work to trick people into believing and practicing things that are not of God (Galatians 3:1). People seem to hear these Scriptural warnings and somehow they act surprised to find out someone who sounds like a teacher of truth is really a false teacher. This happens because the wolves in sheep’s clothing are very good at hiding their true identities. It was true in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 23:14), during the first century (Matthew 24:23-24), and such is still occurring today.
A Modern Case Of A False Teacher Who Speaks Plenty of “Truth”
Most of us have heard of the Guardian Of Truth Foundation. Most of us have heard of Truth Magazine. All of us know that the Bible does not authorize the formation of any human organization to stand for the truth. In fact, God has specified that His organization that stands for the truth is the local church (I Timothy 3:15). We all know that we need authority for everything we say and do (Leviticus 10:1-2, Numbers 9:1-9, Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Deuteronomy 29:29, II Samuel 6:6-7, II Samuel 7:1-7, Job 32:8, Proverbs 30:5-6, Matthew 4:4, Matthew 7:21-23, Matthew 12:46-50, Matthew 17:5, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 4:4, Luke 6:46, Luke 11:28, John 14:23-24, I Corinthians 4:6, Galatians 1:6-12, Colossians 3:17, II Timothy 1:13, James 1:21-25, I John 2:3-6, II John 9, and Revelation 22:18-19).
Having said all of that, would you believe that the editor of Truth Magazine (who is also a member of the board of directors of the Guardian of Truth Foundation) believes things should not be done without authority from the Lord? Isn’t it hypocritical to say we need authority for everything and then be part of that which is not authorized (I Timothy 4:16 and Titus 1:16)? There is no authority for the things the Guardian of Truth Foundation does. Yet, from the pen of Mike Willis we read the following statements that are truth, but not practiced by him: “Those things that cannot be found authorized by Scriptures are to be discarded” (http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume44/V4409210002.htm). Notice this other quote: “Like the other denominations, the Christian Churches and liberal churches of Christ must be willing to discard from their faith and their practice everything that is not found written in the Bible. Giving lip service to the authority of the Scriptures while introducing many unauthorized items into the worship, work, and organization of the church is no different from what the denominations do who pay lip service to the Bible while clinging to their creeds. The authority of the Bible will be respected again when men are willing to make these commitments” (http://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume30/GOT030152.html).
Like Mike Willis, other members of the Guardian of Truth Foundation often teach some truth on Bible Authority. If you hear them preach you’ll hear a lot of things that are correct. Of course, even in the article I cited above, Mike and his cronies pervert just about everything they teach. Yet, to the untrained eye or unlearned ear (Romans 16:18), they sound good. They use Scriptures. They mark false teachers. They talk about liberalism. Sounds good on the surface, but they don’t practice what they preach (Romans 2:1-3; 17-23)! Sad thing is, this problem is not limited to preachers.
It’s Not Just Preachers You Have To Worry About!
The Scriptures warn us that there will be people of error who try to creep in among us (Jude 3-4). People often think that these warnings are only concerning preachers. Brethren, the slickest wolves are often those who seek to “place membership” and “fill pews”. It’s not just Gospel preachers who are false teachers (Acts 15:1-5, Galatians 2:1-5, and III John 9-11). It is easier to examine a man who often teaches and writes publicly. Therefore, it is much easier to have someone sneak into the assembly and teach through subtle questions (II Timothy 2:23). It is easier for someone who is not teaching publicly to lead others into error by living a sinful life (I Corinthians 5:1-8 and Galatians 5:7-9). Brethren, let’s be aware of the wolves in the pulpit, but let’s not forget about those “in the pews”.
A man or a woman says that baptism is for the remission of sins (cf. Acts 2:38). They say there is one church (cf. Ephesians 4:4). They are “non institutional”. Does that mean they teach the whole truth? According to many ignorant churches, that would be enough. Brethren, with our Lord it is not a list of “core doctrines” we must be unified on (I Corinthians 1:10, James 2:10-12, and I John 1:3-7). Teaching some of the truth simply is not enough to be considered a follower of the truth (John 8:31-32).
Volume 11 – Issue 29 - April 10th, 2011