INTRODUCTION: We live in a world where we may not want to be lied to, but when we are lied to, we stick our heads in the sand. We may want the truth, but sometimes not enough to expose error and false teaching. Many do not want to hear that there may be some error taught by a preacher or teacher they admire. Some believe that it just could not happen that their preacher or teacher would lie. All this tends to make many not want preachers and teachers to speak on subjects that are controversial. Putting our hands over our ears will not change the truth. Being indifferent to error and false teaching is like holding a time bomb in one's hands. It's not a question of whether it will go off, only a matter of when? For some it has already gone off and destroyed many in its path. Many will die spiritually, because the grip of false teaching has a hold on them.


Behind false teaching are simply lies. Remember the account about Satan and how he lied to Eve. God said if Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, in that day they would die. The serpent said, "You surely shall not die!" (Gen. 3:1-5). This statement was completely opposite to what God said. Eve being deceived by this lie, fell into sin, (Gen. 3:6). It does not take much lying to mislead or deceive someone.

The Bible teaches that some people are involved in deceitful scheming. They use craftiness and trickery in their deceitful scheming, (Eph. 4:14). This is accomplished by many methods:

(1) Ephesians 5:6 says, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." (NASB). One method is to give words that have no substance, value or truth. These are empty or vain words. These are words that are worthless and not to be followed. Some of these words are designed to entice our lusts or those desires forbidden by the Lord for us to exercise. 2 Peter 2:18 says, "For speaking out arrogant {words} of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error," (NASB).

(2) Mankind has spruced up his method of delivering empty words to another dimension. Romans 16:18 says, "For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting." (NASB). Smooth and flattering speech is on the menu of methods used to deceive. The words spoken are artfully crafted to simulate goodness. Have you ever heard a speech that sounded so good, but did not understand what was said? Our initial reaction is to accept fair speeches; but following the words of error clothed as good speech is disaster.

(3) Persuasion and argument alone is not wrong; but these can be used to promote false teaching. Colossians 2:4 says, "I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument." (NASB)

(4) There are many false teachers who use the method of false wonders or power. The modern miracle worker falls into this category. They prey upon those afflicted with many ailments and who are ignorant concerning the subject of Bible miracles. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 says, "that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved." (NASB). There are many people who will not receive the love of the truth regarding the difference of what are Bible miracles and modern false wonders. The scope of this lesson does not allow me to cover all that needs said on this subject. Suffice it to say, charlatans are in the world.

All these methods that men may use to deceive us can come to nothing, if we take an individual effort to find out what God actually says in His word. "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ," (Ephesians 4:14-15). (NASB)


In the New Testament, Paul the apostle prophesied many times that among the brethren false teaching would be promoted.

Acts 20:30. ". . .and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." (NASB).

1 Timothy 4:1. "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,. . ." (NASB).

2 Tim. 4:3&4. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths." (NASB).

Do not be surprised if you find out that your favorite preacher lies. These are things that happened in the past, they are happening in the present and they will happen in the future. You can guard yourself by being caught up with brethren who are following false teaching by simply following Jesus Christ. Let Him be your favorite preacher and teacher. In the book of Galatians, Paul wrote to many Christians who had been mislead by false teaching. Listen to what he had to say, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:6-9). (NASB).


Be responsible for understanding the will of God for yourself, (Eph. 5:16&17). Do not leave it up to others to determine what your faith ought to be. Ignorance of the word of God is the scourge of our day, (Eph. 4:17&18). Be informed on what God says. Do not be ignorant. In Acts 17:11, we read about the Bereans. It says they searched the scriptures daily to see if the things being taught were true. Having this kind of attitude will go a long way in preventing us from being deceived.


All teachers of the word of God must be tested. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world," (1 John 4:1). (NASB). In Revelations 2:1&2, we read that the church in Ephesus found some to be false after they tested some who claimed to be apostles. The standard that we must use in our testing is the word of God, the scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16&17 says, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (NASB).

Do not be persuaded by appearances. Jesus said, "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "So then, you will know them by their fruits." (Matt. 7:15-20). (NASB). False teachers may look good on the outside, but on the inside are perverted. Look at what they are producing by their words and their actions. Check it against the standard of God. If what they produce does not measure up to the word of God, then you know they are false. Don't be afraid of them.


False teaching is real. We need not faint to know this. God has provided for us the way out of this mess. Will you not trust Him today? Read, study and meditate on His precious words.