On December 16, 1944, Germany sent German troops, disguised as American M.P.s (Military Police), to infiltrate the American Army in what would be known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans almost won because of their deception. The Germans did this because they knew that they had lost the war. Their time was short and they needed a deceptive plan to win.
To do this, they trained an elite unit of Germans to speak and act like Americans. They were taught to impersonate Americans right down to the idioms they used and the gum they chewed. This unit was then implanted as M.P.s (Military Police) to direct traffic.
As advancing German troops made their way to the American Army, the Americans rallied to fight them. But as they moved forward, they were being directed by the false M.P.s to other locations. The false M.P.s were doing a great job at confusing and disrupting the American war effort. Thousands of Americans died because of the German deception.
It wasn’t until the Americans were able to unmask the impostors that they were able to mobilize their forces for a coordinated attack and win the battle, and the war.
The devil knows that his time is short. He is losing the war. True, the majority of the warriors are on his side, but he knows that he can’t stand up to the power of God. His purpose is to destroy as many lives as possible before being destroyed himself.
To do that, he has sent "false prophets among the people." "They will secretly introduce destructive heresies (saved by grace)." 2 Peter 2:1. Having a "form of godliness (going to church and singing and shouting His name) but denying the power (living without sin). Have nothing to do with them." 2 Timothy 3:5.
The devil has his wolves, dressed in sheep’s clothing, among the soldiers of Christ. Whole churches are devoted to a form of godliness, but denying the power of God to change their lives and live perfect and sinless by His power.
We must be wise and understanding in order to know who is who. Who really are the true ministers of Christ today? “Test everything.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21. “Test the spirits.” 1 John 4:1. “Examine yourselves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5. Over and over again Christ warned the disciples to beware of false prophets. They are in your church! They look like and act like ministers, priests, pastors, deacons and elders. Since there is only one truth, why are there so many different teachings?
Again, let’s go back to our guide,
our teacher for truth, the Old Testament. Were there false prophets and teachers back then? Yes. In Numbers 16 we read of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. They rebelled against Moses. "They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, ‘You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?’" Verse 3.
The first thing we notice is that they came as a group. Wickedness can never stand alone. The devil loves a crowd. The majority are always on the side of wickedness. People know what is right, but it is easier to do wrong when you have others doing it with you. You can point a finger and say, “See, he claims to be a Christian, and he is doing it too.” But that is not the criteria for Christianity. (This is why “Christian” churches and schools are so dangerous.)
Second point we notice is that they all claimed to be holy. Just because God worked a miracle for them, they claimed to be His special people. Have you ever seen that in your group? Someone has had a special miracle take place in his life and now he feels that he is Moses. No! God worked a miracle for a donkey, but the donkey won’t be saved.
Well, we know what happened to Korah, Dathan and Abiram. If not, read it and check yourself. They also only preach "peace and safety", that everything will be OK. Not so! If all were “OK” God would not have to step in and keep warning us. He warns us because things are not “OK” in our lives.
The next major force of false prophets is found in 1 Kings 18:16 – 39. Elijah invited the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah to the top of Mount Carmel for a show-down. Again, we see the principle of grouping. The wicked always outnumber the righteous.
The false prophets came up to put on a dazzling display for the people. They danced around their altar and sang and shouted and put on quite an act. The people must have been impressed. The false prophets are real showmen. They know how to put on a show. Have you seen those showmen in your church? Wow, what entertainment. You would think they were “rock stars”.
Elijah, on the other hand, had little to say and no show for the people. It really was a boring prayer. No jumping around, no singing, no shouting or commotion. Nope, he just knelt down and asked God to do His thing.
It was God who put on the show. And what a show it was. You know the rest of the story.
We could continue right on down through Jeremiah, Nehemiah and down to Jesus’ time. Those who thought they were somebody, weren’t. God always uses the meek, the humble, the inmates and the nobodies (like this ministry). God doesn’t need showmanship. He needs obedience. God doesn’t need a somebody, He is the somebody. All glory is to go to Jesus. We are not to bring attention to ourselves.
Once we know who are the false teachers and prophets,
we have a duty:
1. "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." 2 John 10, 11.
2. "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies… Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute… With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed – an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness." 2 Peter 2:1, 2, 14-15.
3. "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." 2 Peter 2:19.
4. "For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision (what we would call "Christians" today) group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach…" Titus 1:10, 11.
5. "So that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer." "Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm." "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith (teaching "saved by grace") and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." 1 Timothy 1:3, 6, 7; 4:1, 2.
6. "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us." "If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter (Bible study), take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed." 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14.
7. "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:8.
8. "Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit." 2 John 1:8, 9; Jude 1:18, 19.
The teachings and teachings of Jesus only.
Don’t let anyone take you away from that. No matter how smooth the teaching, run from them if they do not teach the teachings of Christ. They may read from the Bible, but that doesn’t mean they are teaching you truth. "His (Paul) letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16. The reason the majority of the churches have so many people is not because of righteousness, but because of social contact. It is the "in" thing to do. It’s good for business. It soothes their conscience. They love the show. It feels good.
If the churches were to start teaching what Jesus’ taught: stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get your eternal life; very few people would show up. In place of the truth, the ministers, churches and denominations teach acceptable teachings that the people want to hear.
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.
Let me give an illustration of this in our own lives. You decide to take a trip. You go to the airport and buy a ticket. You get on board the airplane and as the plane is taxiing into position to take off, you hear the following announcement. "Please bear with us today. The pilot will ‘try his best’ to be perfect. He will do his best not to ‘miss the mark’, but to leave the runway before hitting dirt at the end of the runway. He will ‘try his best’ to fly the plane on the designated flight plan so as not to hit any other planes. Then, he will again attempt to not ‘miss the mark’ and land on the runway. We know that you will be forgiving of the pilot if he should not be ‘perfect’ today and 'miss the mark’. He is ‘only human’ and is ‘trying his best’. Have a nice flight".
Would you want to fly with that pilot? Why are you still in your church?