5 Minute Lessons on the Kingdom of God
The False Prophet and Teacher
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What is so amazing about the false prophet and teacher is that they are known by others to be Christians (Titus 1:16; Acts 20:30). They can prophesy the words of the Lord (Deuteronomy 13:1‑4; Numbers 22:18‑20, 38; 23:7‑12, 25‑26; 24:2, 9, 13; 2 Peter 2:15; Revelation 2:14), but their lives are full of iniquity. On judgment day these false prophets and teachers will say,
"Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matthew 7:22)

But in reality they will be turned away from God's Kingdom. Jesus tells them why.
"Depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23)

These people who call themselves Christians practice lawlessness. They talk the Christian talk, but they don't walk the Christian walk.
"They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him." (Titus 1:16 NIV)

What is scary is that they enjoy the fellowship dinners with other Christians (2 Peter 2:13), they will give great sermons and speeches and,
"In their greed they will exploit you with fabricated stories." (2 Peter 2:3 The Complete Jewish Bible)

They are among God's people and may be a leader in the church (Acts 20:30; 3 John 1:9). They will introduce secretly (that is, in a way that will be hard to see that they are wrong) damnable heresies. A damnable heresy means, that which can lead to spiritual ruin or destruction. The sad thing about all of this is that,
"...many shall follow their pernicious ways..." (2 Peter 2:2)

"Many" is defined as "a large, indefinite number, the masses." This will lead to spiritual ruin and loss because the way of truth will now be scoffed at and ridiculed (2 Peter 2:2).

The Apostle Peter tells us that the false teacher will "deny" the Lord that bought them (2 Peter 2:1). It is not that the false teacher says, "I deny that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," etc. The word "deny" means to contradict, or disown Jesus as Lord or Master, the one who has the right to rule and to reign in your life. They disown Jesus' Lordship and also contradict his teaching. I have had people imply, "We don't have to pay attention to Jesus' words because He was under the law" (Galatians 4:4). I have had some tell me not to pay attention to Jesus' words because Paul had the revelation of grace (John 1:17). This kind of talk leads to doctrines like, we never have to confess our sins (1 John 1:9), repentance is a one time act that doesn't need to continue (Acts 8:21‑22), living godly is not important (Hebrews 12:14), faith is not an ongoing event (Colossians 1:23; Luke 8:13), etc.

The truth about saving faith is that it is continuous and taught by both Arminianism and Calvinism theology, although they come from different perspectives.

Calvinism, which professes eternal security, teaches that genuine believers may stumble or fall, but they will nevertheless persevere in the Christian faith (1 Corinthians 1:8). Those who believe in eternal security believe also that true Christians have experienced a death to sin and will not continue in it (Romans 6:1‑3). Those who would later turn completely away from Christ show that they were never truly born again (1 John 2:19).

Arminian theology teaches that genuine believers can fall away from the Christian faith. They generally believe and teach that those who do fall away lose, or forfeit, their salvation. Their system makes no room for so-called Christians (those by name only) to live in continuous rebellion or deliberate sin with no fruit that proves their repentance.

Other heresies that lead to spiritual ruin and destruction include, a misunderstanding of God's grace (Jude 1:4; Romans 6:1), no punishment or judgment (2 Peter 2:9; Acts 24:24‑25), freedom from law or restraints (2 Peter 2:19), etc.

These false teachers and prophets can tell you the facts in the church's creed, but their lifestyle does not pass the test of sound doctrine (1 Timothy 6:3‑4). They have erred from the faith (forsaken and wandered from the truth; James 5:19‑20). They had at one time escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior (2 Peter 2:20), but they turned back, and were overcome by corrupt, immoral living (2 Peter 2:14).

Can they come back and recover? Yes! (2 Timothy 2:24‑26), but they have lost their ability to be an example to the world and to God's people (1 Timothy 3:7).

Why am I sharing these things? Because God helps us stay in sound doctrine by giving us warnings. Don't disregard the warnings. Don't say, "I'm a Christian and this can't happen to me." Jesus one time cursed a fig tree, because it should have had fruit, but on close examination it had none (Matthew 21:19). Jesus said you will know the false prophets by their fruit, by what they do, by what they practice (Matthew 7:15‑20). Perfection no, direction yes!

God gives warnings to His church (Revelation 3). The warnings go out to all. Flee lusts, follow righteousness, so that we may always call on the Lord with a pure heart and conscience (2 Timothy 2:22).
  1. Read Titus 1:16 (NIV).
    "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good." ‑ Titus 1:16 (NIV)
    Some people claim to know God, but they deny Him by:
    1. their words
    2. their actions
  2. Read Revelation 2:20.
    "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." ‑ Revelation 2:20
    Jezebel the prophetess taught God's servants to:
    1. cook
    2. commit fornication
    3. eat things sacrificed to idols
  3. Read 2 Peter 2:1.
    "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." ‑ 2 Peter 2:1
    The false prophet and teacher will bring into the church:
    1. their favorite pet
    2. damnable heresies
    3. a great choir
  4. Read Matthew 15:8‑9 (New Century Version).
    "8'These people show honor to me with words, but their hearts are far from me. 9Their worship of me is worthless...'" ‑ Matthew 15:8‑9 (New Century Version)
    Some people show honor to God with their words:
    1. but their hearts are with their girlfriends
    2. but their hearts are far from God
    3. but their hearts are not with God
  5. Read Matthew 7:15‑16.
    "15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits." ‑ Matthew 7:15‑16
    Beware of:
    1. your mother‑in‑law
    2. wild animals
    3. false prophets
  6. Read Titus 2:1‑2 (The Living Bible).
    "But as for you, speak up for the right living that goes along with true Christianity. 2Teach the older men to be serious and unruffled; they must be sensible, knowing and believing the truth and doing everything with love and patience." ‑ Titus 2:1‑2 (The Living Bible)
    Sound doctrine is not what you know (the church creed) but what you do (expressing the life of Christ).
    True or False
  7. Read 1 Timothy 6:3‑4 (NASV).
    "3If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4he is conceited and understands nothing..." ‑ 1 Timothy 6:3‑4 (NASV)
    Sound doctrine leads to living a godly lifestyle.
    True or False
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