“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Proverbs 12:22
God does not want His children to believe anything that’s not true. Truth is the centerpiece of the Christian worldview. Truth is what sets people free from wrong thoughts, beliefs and actions (John 8:32). God’s Son came to earth from Heaven filled with “grace and truth” (John 1:14-17). Jesus said that true worshippers of God will worship Him “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). Jesus said He is the “truth” (John 14:6). Jesus said that the Holy Spirit who lives in Christians is the “Spirit of truth” (John 14:17). Jesus prayed to His Father before going to the Cross and asked Him to sanctify believers by His truth, identifying that truth as God’s Word (John 17:17).
However, Christianity has a powerful enemy who does not want God’s children to know or believe the truth. As Jesus reminded us about the enemy – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
Satan does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. That also goes for people who say they are speaking for God, but are really speaking for Satan. As harsh as that sounds to say someone who claims the name of Christ is really speaking for Satan, that is the truth.
We’ve seen God’s warnings to His children about false preachers and teachers. We’ve seen God’s methods for discerning false preachers and teachers. Now it’s time to learn how to use those warnings and methods to guide and protect us from the lies of Satan.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:1
The “what” grid looks at the words and meaning of what preachers and teachers say and write. Keep in mind God’s warnings about false prophets and teachers and the methods He has given us to discern what is true and what is false. Jesus is Truth. Everything Jesus has said is true. Jesus’s words in the Gospels are important to understand because in them we have truth. Jesus sent His Spirit to speak through His Apostles, so we can believe what they said and wrote. Everything God says is true is true. Everything God says is false is false. That’s an absolute we must trust if we’re going to be successful identifying true and false preachers and teachers. If we allow ourselves to be pulled into the cult of personality (e.g. but he’s such a nice young man, he sounds so sincere, he has a lovely family, he preaches with such authority), we will miss what’s true or false because of the pretty face and pleasing manner.
Compare “what” Jesus and the apostles said to “what” preachers and teachers say. Are they really saying the same thing? Remember what Satan did to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? Read Genesis 3:1-7 as many times as you need to understand how Satan works because Satan is the spiritual power behind false preaching and teaching. Satan’s lies often begin with what appears to be an innocent question – “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” As we know now, that question was filled with evil intent. Satan cast a little doubt about what God said before launching into the full attack – “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” If alarm bells had sounded for Adam or Eve with Satan’s first statement, they might have done better when the big attack came. We can learn from the mistakes of our first ancestors.
“For both prophet and priest are profane; Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:11
The “why” grid looks at the reasons preachers and teachers speak and write. This may seem like the harder of the two, but God has given Christians the basic tools for discerning the motives of preachers and teachers. We have God’s Word, which is true, and God’s Spirit, who is true. The Spirit of God is the true Author of Scriptures (e.g. 2 Timothy 3:16-17) and we know the Spirit is true, so the Holy Spirit will not say one thing in Scripture and another thing through a preacher. Knowing what’s true will help us filter out what’s false.
Compare “why” Jesus and the apostles said what they said to “why” preachers and teachers say what they say. What’s the real reason they’re preachers/teachers? Are they in it for the prestige? the power? the position? the money? the influence? the control? Or are they preaching/teaching because God’s Word is burning in their hearts and minds and they cannot be silent until everyone hears the Gospel of Jesus Christ? If they could no longer preach or teach for some physical reason, why would they miss it? Because of the money? Because of the influence? Because of the power and prestige? or because the fire would still be burning in their hearts and they couldn’t fulfill God’s calling on their lives? The “why” is at least as important as the “what” as you distinguish between true and false preachers/teachers.
“I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies; They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.” Jeremiah 23:14
So, we’re looking into “what” a preacher or teacher says and “why” they say it. Remember the importance of having spiritual filters available to help you discern the preaching message so you can distinguish between what’s true and what’s false.
The first and most important filter is to – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). An important aspect of Rightly dividing the Word of Truth means studying God’s Word to the point you can discern what’s true and what’s false. It’s the skill of knowing how to observe, question, interpret, evaluate, apply and correlate Scripture. It’s interesting that just before Paul wrote about rightly dividing the Word of Truth, he wrote this –
“Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:8-15
Right division of the Word of God will cost preachers of the Gospel something. It may not be prison, but there will be a cost. They may even “suffer trouble” as an evildoer. Preachers of truth stand out in an unsaved world, often to the detriment of their lifestyle. Paul’s message is clear that preaching the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will include enduring for the sake of God’s people.
God’s Word is clear that Christians should be able to teach others Truth.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
Notice that handling God’s Word correctly is a skill. Christians who partake only the “milk” (i.e. baby’s food) of the Word and not solid food (i.e. adult’s food) are “unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.” Solid food is for Christians who are of full spiritual age who have used the Word to the point that their spiritual senses are “exercised to discern both good and evil.” There’s that word “discern” again and what are mature Christians discerning? “both good and evil.” Truth and lies.
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:16
Preachers in Local Churches
The writer of Hebrews shared an interesting starting point for discerning whether preachers in churches are preaching truth or a lie; he called it “the first principles of the oracles of God.” First principles are stoicheia tes arches – “rudiments of the beginning” – and speak to those things that are first in order of what people learn in order to know something. In the case of being a Christian, there are certain principles that come first. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas what he had to do to be saved, they answered – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31) Faith in Christ is a “first principle.” However, as necessary as that knowledge is in order to be saved, does God want us to stay there for the rest of our lives or move deeper in our knowledge and relationship with Him? Yes, He wants us to go deep.
In the context of Hebrews 5:12, the writer was addressing the qualifications for high priesthood, demonstrating that only Jesus was qualified. In verse 11, the writer wrote this – “of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” The next sentence, verse 12, is – “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” The writer wanted to take his readers deeper into spiritual insights concerning Christ, but he couldn’t because the people were “dull of hearing.” That is a real problem in churches today, even as it was almost 2,000 years ago.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.” Jeremiah 23:21-22
Here are some questions for you as you attend a local church:
- Do the preachers and teachers present the “first principles” of the faith and is their preaching/teaching consistent with what you know to be the first principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Do the preachers and teachers present anything deeper than the first principles? If so, would you call what they preach/teach the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) or only parts of it? If only parts, what parts? Why those parts and not the whole?
- Do the preachers and teachers present the Word of God in a humble way or exalted way? If humbly, is it real or just a role they play? If proudly, how do they explain their pride? (Read Matthew 23 to see what Jesus thinks about that.)
I’m spending more time here than anywhere else in this article because local church preachers and teachers are supposed to be the protectors of God’s people (e.g. Acts 20:25-31). If you are blessed to have preachers/teachers in your local church who rightly divide the Word of Truth and are preaching/teaching for the right reasons, you can go to them about any spiritual concern. Righteous preachers/teachers are great “spiritual filters” for Christians because they are usually available and willing to help members of their flock. They know that God has called them to protect the flock and they take that call seriously.
People who preach the “truth” for the “right reason” don’t mind being questioned about what they believe. In fact, they love it when church members want to talk about a sermon or lesson afterward. It’s so rare these days. However, people who preach lies or preach for the wrong reason don’t want anyone to question their preaching. They want to be praised and lifted up for their preaching. However, if anyone dares to question them about their preaching they become both defensive and offensive. They will defend themselves and attack the questioner.
Here’s more wisdom from God’s Word. This clarifies the kind of teaching God does not want in His Church and how He wants Christians to handle it.
“Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 1 Timothy 6:1-5
Recommendation: be kind and respectful when questioning your pastor or other preacher/teacher after a sermon/lesson. If you have a general question about something a preacher says in your church, ask away. However, if the discussion may lean toward the negative or you know your question is going to be tough and possibly embarrassing for the preacher, ask to meet with him privately.
Recommendation: if you are going to question a preacher/teacher about what may be his false teaching, discuss it with someone in the church you trust. If they agree that the preaching/teaching may be false, ask them to be with you when you meet with the preacher/teacher.
Recommendation: if you have talked with the preacher/teacher in your church about the false teaching and they won’t stop teaching false doctrine, seek wisdom about taking the problem to church leadership. I say seek wisdom because a history of false teaching/preaching in a church often means other leaders have been infected by lies. Once you begin pulling off layers of false teaching in a church, you may be shocked to see how deep it goes. Remember that the Bible often describes false preachers and teachers as wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s just common sense that you approach a wolf differently than you approach a sheep.
Some false preaching/teaching in churches is because the preachers/teachers lack knowledge about a particular spiritual truth. Sharing the truth with them in love can open their eyes to it and lead them to rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Since preachers/teachers have such a wide influence because of their speaking and writing, helping some see the error in their preaching can have a positive impact on many people.
However, some false preaching/teaching in churches is because it’s coming from the mouths of false preachers and false teachers. Sharing the truth with them in love will become a battleground. The only way to prepare for that battle is to get ready for it.
Recommendation: if you are going to wage spiritual warfare in your church about false preaching and teaching, be sure you’re ready for the battle. Learn about spiritual warfare by looking to the great warriors of the Bible for guidance (e.g. Moses, King David, Jesus, Peter, Paul). Read Ephesians 6:10-18 many times and think about how you will use each aspect of the armor of God as you take on false preaching and teaching in your church. Many Christians have been deeply wounded in such battles, but it’s worth the scars if God sends you into that battle. Also, be ready to withdraw yourself from the false preacher/teacher. That’s tough to do, but necessary to protect the flock and the integrity of the preaching in the church. The way many churches are governed today, withdrawing yourself from the false preaching may mean withdrawing from the church. That’s really tough to do, but necessary.
I’m reminded what Paul wrote Timothy: “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
What about local church preachers who lead their flock to spend millions of dollars to build great edifices for themselves? Should that concern you as a member of that church? Look at the prophet’s perspective.
“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness And his chambers by injustice, Who uses his neighbor’s service without wages And gives him nothing for his work, Who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house with spacious chambers, And cut out windows for it, Paneling it with cedar And painting it with vermilion.’ ‘Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink, And do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; Then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, For shedding innocent blood, And practicing oppression and violence.” Jeremiah 22:13-17
Do you see God’s heart in those verses? “Was not this knowing Me?’ says the Lord.” This is an excellent example of right prophetic preaching. It’s in the specific context of God’s message to the sons of King Josiah and the larger context of God’s message to the leaders of Judah. One of the great reasons to read, study and use the words of the Old Testament prophets is that God revealed Himself to His people. God has a big heart for doing justice and righteousness and judging the cause of the poor and the needy. Anything that takes away from what God wants generally falls into the areas of covetousness, shedding of innocent blood (e.g. ravaging the flock of God), practicing oppression and all kinds of violence.
Recommendation: if your church considers a building project or any other large expenditure of money that appears to be contrary to God’s heart, share your concerns with people you trust as spiritual filters in the church. God may use you to bring to light a wrong purpose in spending money on things other than what God wants.
“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they areprophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.” Jeremiah 23:25-27
Preachers in Conferences
Preachers in conferences include people who preach at any conference, seminar, Bible study or other location outside a local church. One of the dangers of preachers and teachers outside the local church is that unless you know how to use God’s Word as a spiritual filter for false preaching or are attending the conference with someone who can be a spiritual filter, you may not recognize the subtitles of the false preaching. Remember Satan and how subtile he was with Eve in the Garden? “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” That happens in conferences and other meetings held outside of the local church all too often.
Recommendation: ask a couple of people you trust as a spiritual filter about attending a particular conference, seminar, Bible study or other type of meeting outside of your local church. Ask them what they think about the speakers, the theme, the doctrinal position of the conference leaders, the history of the conference, etc. If they don’t think you should attend but you decide to go anyway, ask them what they should be aware of during the conference. Meet with your spiritual filters after the conference and debrief them about what you saw and heard. Ask them to help you distinguish between truth and lies.
Recommendation: be careful about falling under the spell of the cult of personality before, during or after attending a conference. Remember Genesis 3:1 – “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” False preachers and teachers are cunning. They follow after their “master” who is cunning, crafty (e.g. 2 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 6:11), a liar (John 8:44), and able to transform himself into an angel of light (e.g. 2 Corinthians 11:14).
The key to trusting any preaching is to ensure that it holds fast to the pattern of “sound words” that the Holy Spirit authored through the prophets and apostles (e.g. 2 Timothy 1:13-14).
“The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.” Jeremiah 23:28
Preachers in Denominations
Preachers in denominations include people who are leaders and speakers in denominational meetings. This is preaching in the local church and in conferences to an even larger scale. You may never attend a denominational meeting and you may never hear a denominational leader preach or teach, but be certain of the fact that what denominational leaders believe and preach affects your local church, which means it affects you.
Recommendation: learn as much as you can about your church’s denomination. Talk with people in your church you can trust as spiritual filters to help you learn about the denomination and how much of an impact it has on the beliefs and practices of your church. If you get the opportunity, attend a regional, state or national denominational meeting. Use your spiritual filters to discern what’s happening in the denomination and where leaders want to take it.
Recommendation: if you discover false teaching in your denomination, discuss it with trusted people in your church to see what can be done to let the denomination know about your concerns. If local church leaders either cannot recognize false teaching in their denomination, agree with the false teaching or don’t want to address the false teaching, ask God what He would have you do. Remember, God would have you do whatever He’s already instructed His people in the Bible to do about false teaching. He won’t ask you to do less or something different than what He’s already said.
Preachers in Writing
Preachers in writing include people who write from a Christian perspective in books, magazines and other printed materials. The number of words being written by religious writers today is amazing. I saw a statistic several years ago that there were more than six-million Christian books in print at the time. The estimate for the number of Christian magazines is in the tens of thousands. That’s a lot of words and with many words comes the real potential for false teaching cloaked in a covering of truth.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:6-7
Recommendation: if you are unfamiliar with a particular author, ask people you trust as spiritual filters if they know about the author and the book. Heed any warnings they share with you about the author or book. If they are not familiar with the author or book, do some research online to learn more about the person.
Recommendation: if you’re reading a book and something the author wrote doesn’t seem right to you, check with people you trust to see what they think about it. It is easier than you may imagine to be deceived by a persuasive writer. Remember Satan’s subtitles.
“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:1-9
Preachers in Broadcast
“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ says the Lord, ‘and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:30-32
Preachers in broadcast include people who preach on radio and television. Media preaching and teaching is one of the most “unfiltered” types of preaching because it comes into your home and attempts to control some of your most susceptible senses: sight and sound.
I spent more than 40 years in broadcasting and helped many preachers begin radio and television ministries. I also worked for a religious radio station and became familiar with some of the big names in religious broadcasting in the early 1970s. I listened to their programs, read the material they sent to the station about each broadcast and talked with some of the broadcasters and their producers. I was a young Christian at the time and quickly became aware that religious people were often saying different things about the same verses in the Bible. I took advantage of the spiritual filters in my life and they helped me distinguish between true and false prophets as I was becoming more skillful in discerning false preaching.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
Radio and television are two of the most powerful mass communications technologies ever developed. Satan knows that and has used both for his purposes for decades. The devil has also been involved in religious broadcasting. Some of the most popular radio and TV preachers have been and are false preachers and teachers. How do we know? By using the same spiritual filters listed in this series.
Recommendation: if you listen to religious radio or television, be careful. Slick productions do not guarantee truth. Religious radio and television programs are extremely expensive to produce and the cost of airtime can be in the millions of dollars each year. In addition to those costs are the expenses of running the broadcast ministry – including salaries for preachers and staff. Many famous broadcast preachers receive multi-million dollar salaries, along with their ministry buying them houses, cars, planes, vacations, clothing, entertainment, etc. Some of the most popular television ministries bring in donations of more than 100-million dollars a year. How do they spend those tax-deductible gifts from their supporters? Are they accountable to anyone? Yes, they are accountable to Almighty God.
Recommendation: if you listen to religious radio or television programs, talk with a trusted spiritual filter about who you listen to or watch. If you still want to listen or watch, check carefully both the message and the messenger. What is he/she saying and why does he/she say it? Do God’s servants need to live in multi-million dollar mansions, own multi-million dollar planes and a fleet of expensive automobiles, spend tens of thousands of dollars a day to wine and dine family and friends, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on vacations, and buy the most expensive clothing, furniture and electronics money can buy? Especially when the money they’re spending comes from a lot of people just trying to keep a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and clothes on their backs? I also find it interesting that some of these religious broadcasters who want to have as much “stuff”and conveniences as they can in life are also preaching false doctrine. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Timothy 6:1-19
Compare the lifestyle of preachers and teachers with the lifestyles of Jesus during His time on earth and of His Apostles and what they said about money and other treasures. Their lifestyle and words are windows into their true intent.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” Matthew 7:21-23
Preachers in New Media
Preachers in new media include people who preach online through blogs, social media (e.g. Facebook, Google+, Twitter), podcasts and videos (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo). This new media does not yet bring in as much money as the old media (e.g. radio, television), but the dangers of false preaching are still there. New Media have the potential of earning even more money than the old media, so be certain that false teachers will abound.
Recommendation: if you are following, liking, re-tweeting, or sharing any new media preachers, talk with your spiritual filters about that. Be on the lookout for the same subtitles of false doctrine you’ve learned to discern in all of the other kinds of preaching.
“These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:17-22
We could say more about this, and may in the future, but please be careful. God did not spend so much time on so many words of warning about false preaching and teaching so that we could ignore Him. God loves you and wants what’s best for you. He knows how devastating the lies of Satan can be and is sharing these truths with you to protect you from the devil and guide you into the light.
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:19-21
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”