ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Christians and False Doctrine, False Brethren, False Teachers, False Prophets, and False Christs

Updated on November 16, 2019
KC3Lady profile image

Childhood sexual abuse survivors, mobbing and stalking victims are invited to join this discussion of abusive narcissistic bullying tactics.

Narcissism: Echo Apologetics 2019 presents...The Christian and False Doctrine, False Brethren, False Teachers, False Prophets and False Christs
Narcissism: Echo Apologetics 2019 presents...The Christian and False Doctrine, False Brethren, False Teachers, False Prophets and False Christs | Source

Introduction

As a Christian of many years myself, the author realizes how easy it is to go to church or out into the world and assume everyone who claims to be a Christian actually is. Perhaps this is one of the things that led a Missouri attorney, while I was on assignment at his firm a few years ago, to state by directed conversation how stupid Christians are as he walked by my desk with another attorney. This particular firm was a cesspool, the "ick" of the isms in the air was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, or three knives.

They required even temporary employees to sign an agreement that the employee would not state their own political opinions on their own personal Facebook pages lest it anger one of their clients. My immediate thought was perhaps you need to find better clients. In any case, it is my opinion this festering stench as a whole should be run out of town on a rail, even though concerns for some employees have been articulated to no discernible avail like the rest of The Year of the Police Report, 2016.

In any case, it has been my experience that narcissistic predators, for example, do not see their "crafty" or even criminal behavior as a reflection upon themselves, e.g., as "psycho" in some cases, but as a reflection on their often unsuspecting, innocent victims -- as being "stupid." Their victims are deemed "stupid" since their victims may know that cops play ball with the kids, but know nothing of all of these creatures, many appearing to be without conscience or empathy (1 Timothy 4:2), and under no apparent duress, on the contrary, hardly able to contain their smirks, are slithering all over the place in coordinated groups targeting innocent, unsuspecting people from toddlers to the elderly, for days, weeks, months, years, and even decades at a time, and with no discernible consequences, just victim-blaming.

Christians may also want to often bring to remembrance that the Bible tells us in Matthew 10:16: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." (NASB) There are also those among us, ranging from annoying to deadly, who are against Christians strictly based on your faith in Jesus Christ. Based on decades of Christian life, some might keep their thoughts to themselves but decide you're "simple minded," some might ridicule, some might intentionally try to deceive, and some appear to be like "a roaring lion seeking whom they may devour."

Based on personal experience, right here in the city and suburbs of the Bible Belt, all of the above is alive and well. It is the expressed concern of this article to send out a wake up call, a warning, to the unsuspecting, the innocent who believe as I did in 2005, that there is someone effectively upholding and enforcing the law against such activity and groups, to keep the innocent safe, as we look at what the Bible has to say about false doctrine, false brethren, false teachers, false prophets, false Christs, and the man of lawlessness.

False Doctrine: What Does the Bible Say?

Two words, apostasy and heresy, are often associated with false doctrines and the false teachers who promote it.

Apostasy is actually defined as:

The abandonment of one's religion...In Greek, where it has the implication of deserting a post, it refers generally to the abandonment of Christianity for unbelief (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:18), though many believe that this refers to those who had never truly believed (1 John 1:19; cf. John 15:6).1

Heresy is the second term often associated with false doctrine:

The NT use closest to the later technical, theological meaning is found in 2 Peter 2:1, which states that false teachers "will secretly introduce destructive heresies [NRSV, opinion], even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves." This language implies willful departure from accepted teaching.2

In the book of Acts, the word is applied to the religious "parties" of the Sadducees and Pharisees (Acts 5:17; 15:5).3

Warning to Christians

The Bible discusses the seriousness of this issue, unlike the cavalier attitudes of many today. This is the Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee himself, in Galatians 1:6-10:

I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel.

Not that there is [or could be] any other [genuine Gospel], but there are [obviously] some who are troubling and disturbing and bewildering you [with a different kind of teaching which they offer as a gospel] and want to pervert and distort the Gospel of Christ (the Messiah) [into something which it absolutely is not].

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!

As we said before, so I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from or contrary to that which you received [from us], let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!

Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah). - Amplified Bible

Admonishment to Churches

In the Book of Revelation, "The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:" This is, of course, the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) addressing the Bride of Christ, the church, in this instance in Pergamum. The two-edged sword is the Word of God, as it states in Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - NASB

"This description of the Lord Jesus Christ pictures Him as judge and executioner."4

Then to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Pergamum write: These are the words of Him Who has and wields the sharp two-edged sword:

I know where you live--a place where Satan sits enthroned. [Yet] you are clinging to and holding fast My name, and you did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed (martyred) in your midst--where Satan dwells.

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people there who are clinging to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap and a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, [to entice them] to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and to practice lewdness [giving themselves up to sexual vice]. [Numbers 25:1, 2; 31:16]

You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people] which thing I hate. - Amplified Bible

Nicolaitans also taught that Christians could participate in pagan orgies. They seduced the church with immorality and idolatry.5

His concern was that they had there some who hold to false teaching. While the majority of the believers at Pergamum were faithful and loyal to the truth, there were some associated with the church who came to believe false doctrine. While many in the Christian realm today make light of doctrine, and biblical and theological error are viewed as unimportant, that is not the perspective of the Lord of the church...Tragically, the rest were tolerating these errorists, instead of confronting them and, if they refused to repent, putting them out of the church (cf. Titus 3:10-11). Like many churches today, the church at Pergamum failed to obey the biblical mandate to practice church discipline (cf. Matthew 18:15-18).6

Specifically, Christ was concerned with two heresies being tolerated at Pergamum, one associated with an Old Testament character, the other with a New Testament person.7

Also note that "God intervened and severely chastened Israel, executing twenty-four thousand (Numbers 25:9), including many of the leaders (Numbers 25:4-5). That drastic action halted the Israelites' slide into immorality and idolatry.8

This is how serious of an issue this is to God according to the Bible.

Biblical Warning of False Brethren in the Church

The Bible warns Christians about pretenders or false brethren in the church. The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:26 lists "false brethren" as one of the dangers he's been in. Galatians 2:4-5 the Apostle Paul states:

[My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses]. To them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the Gospel might continue to be [preserved] for you [in its purity]. - Amplified Bible

Biblical Warning of False Teachers or Apostles

The Bible warns of false apostles also. In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, it states:

For such men are false apostles [spurious, counterfeits], deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles {special messengers) of Christ (the Messiah). An it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angle of light; So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds. - Amplified Bible

Then again in 2 Peter 2:1-3:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. - NASB

The Bible does not support embracing false teachers in the name of tolerance and unity as so often appears to be the case today, but expresses a litany of powerful, negative expressions, including but not limited to the following:

  • Blind men who know nothing, mute dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down who love to slumber - Isaiah 56:10
  • Demented fools - Hosea 9:7
  • Reckless, treacherous men - Zeph 3:4
  • Ravenous wolves - Matthew 7:15
  • Blind guides of the blind - Matthew 15:14
  • Hypocrites - Matthew 23:13
  • Fools - Matthew 23:17
  • Whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones - Matthew 23:27
  • Serpents, a brood of vipers - Matthew 23:33
  • Thieves and robbers - John 10:8
  • Savage wolves - Acts 20:29
  • Slaves of their own appetites - Romans 16:18
  • Hucksters peddling the Word of God - 2 Corinthians 2:17
  • False apostles; deceitful workers - 2 Corinthians 11:13
  • Servants of Satan - 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 11:15
  • Purveyors of a different gospel - Galatians 1:6-8
  • Dogs, evil works - Philippians 3:2
  • Enemies of the cross of Christ - Philippians 3:18
  • Those who are conceited and understand nothing - 1 Timothy 6:4
  • Men of depraved minds deprived of the truth - 2 Timothy 2:189

Biblical Warning of False Prophets in the Bible

Matthew 7:15 warns against false prophets, and instructs us to look at their fruits:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So, then, you will know them by their fruits. - NASB

We are warned against false prophets again in Matthew 24:11-12:

Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. - NASB

And again in Mark 13:22:

And the if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. - NASB

There is a story beginning in Acts 13:6, of a false prophet:

When they had passed through the entire island of Cyprus as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain Jewish wizard or sorcerer, a false prophet name Bar-Jesus.

He was closely associated with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent and sensible man of sound understanding; he summoned to him Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the Word of God [concerning salvation in the kingdom of God attained through Christ].

But Elymas the wise man--for that is the translation of his name [which he had given himself]--opposed them, seeking to keep the proconsul from accepting the faith.

But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit, looked steadily at [Elymas] and said, You master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness, and wickedness, you son of the devil, you enemy of everything that is upright and good, will you never stop perverting and making crooked the straight paths of the Lord and plotting against His saving purposes? [Hos. 14:9] - Amplified Bible

Then again in 2 Peter 2:1:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. - NASB

Warning to "test the spirits" in 1 John 4:1:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. - NASB

The False Prophet of Revelation is mentioned in 16:13, and in 19:20 and 20:10 as follows:

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. - KJV

Then the devil who had betrayed them will again be thrown into the Lake of Fire burning with sulphur where the Creature and False Prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. TLB

False Christs and The Man of Lawlessness

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24 - NASB

Mark 13:22 is also reference, but is included above.

The Man of Lawlessness

The man of lawlessness, the son of perdition is discussed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5:

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?

Conclusion

While many think of the Bible as a "bunch of old stories," human nature has not changed, nor have many of the doctrines, even if they may have been repackaged. The Bible is an instruction book for life, and is still very much relevant today. While it is easy to think in this age of tolerance that Christian persecution no longer occurs, and especially in this country, that is simply not true. Christian persecution is alive and well in the United States of America, including in the Bible Belt.

It is personally one of my greatest pet peeves in all of life, for someone to use the Bible, to mangle Scripture, to abuse, control, manipulate, deceive, or torment another human being, and has been for many years. The biblical response to false doctrine, brethren, and teachers is strong because it is so deadly, this author has personally experienced and witnessed with others over the years.There are those among us particularly interested in doing so, and this author is particularly interested in untangling as much of it as humanly possible.

It is a sad day when a Christian can not even go into their Father's house, the church, without having to be concerned about pretenders, directed conversation, intentional deception, etc. May the Christians in the churches know their Bibles for themselves, and test their leaders before just blindly accepting their teachings. If you cannot question a pastor and get a straight answer, that is a red flag. May the leaders of these churches, especially the ones who have not been harassed or targeted, wake up.

Even though it might be found in the history of the church division resulting from such as not liking the pews, as a generally rule Christians should not divide over secondary issues, but only over primary issues. For example, if someone accepts the Father and the Son, but not the Holy Spirit, that is a primary issue and should cause great concern.

Footnotes

1. Douglas, J.D. and Merrill C. Tenney, revised by Moises Silva, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 2011 by Zondervan, p. 96-7.

2. Douglas, J.D. and Merrill C. Tenney, revised by Moises Silva, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 2011 by Zondervan, p. 599.

3. Ibid.

4. MacArthur, John, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Revelation 1-11, 1999 by John MacArthur, Jr., p. 83.

5. MacArthur, John, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Revelation 1-11, 1999 by John MacArthur, Jr., p. 89.

6. MacArthur, John, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Revelation 1-11, 1999 by John MacArthur, Jr., p. 87-88.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. MacArthur, John, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Revelation 1-11, 1999 by John MacArthur, Jr., p. 254

© 2019 Kelly Ann

Share Your Thoughts

Submit a Comment
  • KC3Lady profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Ann 

    3 weeks ago from Johnson County, Kansas

    Thank you, Maren.

  • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

    Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

    3 weeks ago from Pennsylvania

    It sounds like you have been through a lot! Glad you're writing here at hubpages.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)