True shepherds have genuine concern for the flock, as opposed to hirelings who only devour or take advantage of the flock.
Belief always produces conduct, and thus, ungodly behavior signals the presence or influence of a false teacher. Who was the false teacher in Corinth?
Gnosticism is very much in vogue today in books and movies, and perhaps surprisingly, in the belief systems of many people who profess to be Christian.
Those who advocate doctrinal change portray God as a confused and false minister who lacks the power to instruct his chosen leaders to 'get it right.'
A major clue for discerning false gospels is that any teaching attempting to change the nature of God or Christ or their doctrines is anti-Christ and false.
A new lie alleges that a tomb has been found with the remains of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and their alleged son Judah. It may undermine the faith of many.
False prophets—including the great False Prophet of Revelation—claim to speak for God, yet reveal themselves in predictable ways. Here is what to look for.
False prophets promote the broad way, giving people what they want to hear. They replace God's truth with human tradition. They are identified by their fruit.
Corinth had four positive teachers, yet a mysterious fifth teacher was also influencing them and instilling beliefs that were the source of all the bad fruit.
Corinth was a hotbed of carnality, yet the four identified teachers were not the source of the problem. Instead, a fifth teacher was influencing them.
John's epistles are the only places the term "antichrist" is used. This word has taken on a life of its own, especially within Evangelical Protestantism.
Having credentials as a motivational coach or an entertainer does not qualify one to be a preacher, especially if he does not hold people accountable for sin.
Many heresies have crept into the church over the past several years. Here is how Satan works to introduce heresy into the church, and what we can do about it.
John says that those who do not confess Christ as 'coming in the flesh'—or 'as appearing in flesh'—in the present—are deceivers and antichrists.
Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?
All of us have anti-Christ tendencies in us, and must work vigorously to root out the anti-Christ elements within ourselves and to become like Christ.
Are we 'once-saved, always-saved'? Once God grants us His grace, are we assured eternal life? The fallacies of the doctrine of 'eternal security' are exposed.
Christ warned that many would be deceived, though no one ever admits to being deceived. The Bible warns of deceptions from within and without the church.
In Scripture, foam is usually accompanied by a state of agitation, as in hurricanes, angry waves of the sea, nations being torn asunder, or demonic influence.
Jesus is aware of all that transpires within His church—regardless of how out-of-control things may seem—and He will always act in the way that is best.
In a secular sense, apostasy is abandoning one's political party, principles, or cause. Biblically, apostasy is rebellion against God or the abandonment of faith.
I John, addresses a congregation grounded in the truth but vexed from within by a number of anti-Christian teachings, including Docetism and Gnosticism.
False ministers pander to the 'itching ears' of the audience, telling it what it wants to hear, catering to desires and lusts, fatally mixing truth with error.
The book of Jude, a scathing indictment against false teachers, may be the most neglected book in the New Testament. False teachers twist grace into license.
Sin has tainted the most faithful leaders. Most (perhaps all) church leaders have skeletons in their closets, but we follow them as they follow Christ.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the etymological roots of apostate and apostle, acknowledges that both words indicate "taking a stand." While "apostle" refers to someone taking a stand in behalf of someone or an ideal, "apostate" refers to someone who once held loyalty to a person or ideal, but has now …
Paul had received the same revelation from God that the original disciples had been given. They all preached from the same Source: Jesus Christ.
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
John Reid, reading from the Diary of Elizabeth Smith, a pioneer woman travelling from Missouri to Oregon, described the treacherous wintry conditions on the Columbia River Gorge, suggesting that the closer they came to their goal, the more dangerous the hardships became. Likewise, as we near the conclusion of our spiritual …
Martin Collins indicates that, even though II and III John are the shortest books of the Bible, they do contain significant themes, amplifying the contents of I John, emphasizing the fellowship with God. II and III John, addressed to elders in supporting local churches, advocate hospitality to legitimate teachers and forbid …
In evaluating the dubious fruits of a false minister, we must realize that belief and conduct are inextricably linked and the linkage must be with God's Word.
The pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of the spirit of the time that has embroiled religious and political institutions worldwide.
John Ritenbaugh speculates about a prophecy in Zechariah 13:2-5, which concerns prophets or church leaders who, coming to feel ashamed of their false teachings, will later claim they were farmers rather than ministers. Most of the billion nominal 'Christians' have no understanding that (1) the reason for the estrangement between …
Outcome based religion exalts numerical growth and feeling good over the truth of God, promoting the use of modern psychology over 'divisive' biblical doctrine.
Richard Ritenbaugh focuses upon the apostasy of the "eternal security" or "once saved always saved" concept lifted from Protestantism, and ultimately derived from Satan's lie to Adam and Eve, "You shall not surely die" immortal soul doctrine. Willful sin negates Christ's sacrifice. Because judgment …
The most dangerous lap we encounter is when everyone around us tends to be compromising. Today, what was once aberrant behavior is now considered normal.
Christ cautions the Pergamos congregation to shun the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The Church suffers when it harbors those who compromise and offend.
Richard Ritenbaugh, cuing in on the "What is truth?" episode in John 18:32-37, suggests that John wants us to ask that question of ourselves. Pilate seemed to believe that all the charges against Jesus were built up on lies and trumped-up charges. Jesus, conversely, was the perfect witness and embodiment of the …
Martin Collins, focusing upon various interpretations of who or what constitutes antichrists, examines several characteristics of this group of beings, including fostering deception and confusion, preventing fellowship, and creating intense spiritual conflict. Realizing that our real enemies are not human beings at all, but …
Jesus Christ warns us to hold fast to true doctrine. Secular historians help us discover the identity of the small flock repeatedly rescued from apostasy.
Satan has also used a sense of dissatisfaction to bring about a wholesale change in the world's religions. According to Berit Kjos, sinister change agents have attempted to apply traditional Christian terminology to politically correct referents, distorting and defiling the original meaning, with the view of duping naïve …
After we accept Christ's sacrifice, we desperately need to come out of sin, walking in light rather than darkness, having continuous fellowship with God.
Richard Ritenbaugh continues the theme of the difficulty we have in this age to distinguish truth from error. Satan's biggest targets for disinformation are God's called-out ones. As the apostles turned the world upside down by the Gospel, Satan's implanted tares immediately began to spread disinformation—so much so that …
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Matthew 7:13-14, observes that life consists of a series of choices—often a dilemma of a pleasurable choice on one hand, and a daunting difficult choice on the other. It seems as though God Almighty and Jesus Christ invariably want us to make the more difficult choice, insuring seemingly the …
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the recent antics of Rick Warren, reveals that this energetic and ambitious founder of the Purpose Driven Church is now seeking to syncretistically merge Islam and Christian faiths, making the conscience, human reason, and the whims of secular humanism—rather than the Bible—the sole …
Military strategists have long realized the key to success in the training of new recruits is to identify the danger they will encounter—in short, to know their enemy. Recruits to God's spiritual army also need to know their enemy and to make appropriate preparations for battle. Daniel 7:25 reveals the modus operandi of …
Because of the culture of deception fostered by Satan and his children, we must develop discernment to tell the difference between truth and falsehood.
We face the same kind of pressures and stress that Timothy faced, with perilous times ahead of us, threatening the existence of the nation and the church.
The Apostle John exhorts us to test and discern the spirits, judging between the true and the false, using the scripture as the steady standard of truth.
Colossae and Laodicea were susceptible to fast-talking teachers, whose plausible words eroded the true Gospel in favor of pagan thought and practice.
We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.
Any syncretism with the world will lead to confusion. We must separate from the world in terms of its religious practices and its false gospels.
Martin Collins, identifying reasons why false teachers are able to entice people out of God's church, asks us which "button or buttons" would someone have to push in order for us to leave the truth of God. The doctrines of grace and Christian liberty have been perverted to become synonyms for tolerance of sin. …
The strife between this world's belief systems shows that God did not originate them. False teachings are dangerous because they can erode the faith.
To establish sound doctrine, we must build on the foundation Christ's teaching, taking the straight and narrow course rather than the wisdom of this world.