False Teachers!

In Deuteronomy 18:9-22, Moses gives an account  of the distinction of a prophet. In the first section  (18:9-14), he discusses the false prophets of diviners,  observers, enchanters, witches (or sorcerers), charmers,  consulters, wizards or necromancers. All of these  descriptions modify one who chooses to seek knowledge  of the invisible world and the realm of God apart from  divine revelation. Without divine revelation, how else  could one find knowledge of the invisible world except  he try to use practices of the occult? Through Moses,  God reminds the Israelites that these “ are an abomination  unto the Lord .” He wants them to trust him (faith) for  their divine revelation.

Then in the latter section (18:15-22), in contrast  with the false prophets who claimed knowledge they did  not really have, God foretells of Jesus being a prophet  as Moses. Moreover, in this discussion, He gives the  mark of a true prophet—“ he shall speak unto them all  that I shall command him…whosoever will not hearken  unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will  require it of him ” (18:18-19). “ And if thou say in thine  heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord hath  not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of the  Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the  thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet  hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid  of him ” (18:21-22). This well describes the history of the  Jewish nation who later persecuted the prophets because  they did not want to listen to the word of God (cf. Matt.  5:12).

Today, we are living in a time of false teachers— those who want to try to persuade people away from the  word of God. Since the Old Testament is for our learning  today (Rom. 15:4), what can we learn from this passage  in view of the false prophecies and false doctrines today  inside and outside the church of our Lord?

First, we must be aware of the fact that there  are false teachers today. Jesus warned us to look out for  “ false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing,  but inwardly they are ravening wolves ” (Matt. 7:15). Paul  warned the elders at Ephesus “ that after my departing  shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the  flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking  perverse things, to draw away disciples after them ”  (Acts 20:29-30). The time has already come, and still  is, when “ they will not endure sound doctrine; but after  their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,  having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears  from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables ” (2 Tim.  4:3-4). Thus, the background for false teaching today  is in Deuteronomy 18, where false prophets will either  speak that which God has not revealed or teach by some  other authority.

Second, they fall into the guise of presuming “ to  speak a word in my name ,” but rather, it is not according  to the name of God at all. We must always be on alert  to compare the teachings of teachers and preachers with  the word of God (myself included!) to see if they are  actually speaking according to the authority of Christ  (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17).

Third, we learn that there is indeed something in  a name. God wanted His prophets to speak by His name,  not according to the name of any other god. We should  never allow the denominational world to distract us by  succumbing to their false doctrine that there is nothing  in a name. According to Deuteronomy and the rest of the  inspired revelation, there is everything in a name (Acts  4:12)!

Finally, that prophet shall die. Is this a serious  thing with God? He says it is a capital offense! Peter  says they “ shall receive the reward of unrighteousness ”  (2 Pet. 2:13).

Never take for granted what anyone teaches,  but always be alert to be sure that the teachers who are  teaching in the church of our Lord are doing so according  to the word of God!

This entry was posted in Sam Willcut and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.