I was talking on the telephone with a brother in the Lord from New York City among other things about being enormously careful not to be deceived by false teaching which is so rampant these days when he told me a dirty white dove on the city streets was feasting on a scrumptious meal of pretzels, beans, and sauce. There is a message in this.
That hungry dove was desperate and therefore fed on the wrong diet which only God knows could have led to sickness, poisoning, danger, and even death. The dove was in need and fell into the temptation of something it believed would answer that need. Herein lies the message.
When we’re hungry, in need, naïve, desperate, searching for something or someone, lost, poor, sick, lonely, down, depressed, seeking comfort and pleasure, hurting, caught off guard, trying to be like everyone else, not careful, don’t know better, not paying attention, don’t really care, want to be popular, not in our right minds, confused, ignorant, beginners, when something looks good and smells good and seems tasty, when we don’t know the truth or are avoiding the truth, when we let our flesh take over in response to temptation, when we are vulnerable in any way, etc., we can fall prey to doing what that dove did. Feeding on something really bad for us maybe even deadly.
That something may be false teaching in which false teachers and false prophets and people who are simply deceived themselves twist around the Bible and lead us astray from God. On the surface it may seem like we’re feeding on the truth of God’s Word. When in reality below the surface the Bible is being perverted.
I was under false teaching for a long time. God set me free and now uses me to warn others to stay far away from it and those who have already fallen into it to run away from it.
The best way to be protected from false teaching is to believe in and follow Jesus Christ as Lord, be filled with and led by God’s Holy Spirit, read the Bible which is God’s truth daily, pray, seek, hear, and obey the Lord, and surround yourself with followers of Jesus who are strongly grounded in the Bible.
Measure what you read and hear against the Bible because the Lord only and always speaks in line with it. If you are under preaching and teaching that does not line up with the Bible, run from it!
And if you are not sure, seek the help of a believer in Jesus who is strong in understanding the Bible to help you figure out if you are under false teaching or not. And if you find you are under false teaching, run from it!
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Matthew 24:11
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3