False teachers and prophets have existed from the beginning. Nothing new! There is no time when there weren't false teachers. The apostles gave us many warnings about false teachers. The Apostle Peter, John and Jude, or Judah, give us some good clues that should signal us to beware.
How can we recognize the genuine from the counterfeit?
Satan always has a counterfeit.
A half truth is always more deceiving than a whole lie.
False teachers tell us lies about Yeshua Messiah and His work in us and for us. False teachers are among us as WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHING. They are USUALLY among us as one of us, just as JUDAS. Think about it for a moment:
Judas partook of all that Yeshua offered. He was recognized as being in the "circle" with the other eleven. Judas ate with them, journeyed with them, saw Yeshua and all that He did firsthand, did miracles along with them and was sent out by Yeshua along with the other eleven.
While an individual false teacher may not have every one of these characteristics, these are the ones that I would like to discuss.
They have a different gospel message - one that has been perverted/corrupted
One that denies Yeshua as God in the flesh, and/or denies Him as the Messiah.
This is a spirit of Anti-Christ
II Peter 2:1 – But among the people there were also false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you. Under false pretenses they will introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them..
2:2 Many will follow their debaucheries; and because of them, the true Way will be maligned. (CJB)
JOHN 1:1 -4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
1 Jn 1:1 – 4: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
1 Jn. 2:18 - Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1 John 2:22 - Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:3; - And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2 John 1:7 - For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Their prevailing message comes from human strength and knowledge
A Godly teacher will follow the Word of God closely:
2Pe 1:16 "For when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, we did not rely on cunningly contrived myths...”
Whereas a false teacher will stray away from the Word:
II Peter 2:3 – In their greed they will exploit you with fabricated stories (fictitious words) (CJB)
False teachers have “intriguing” stories and words which “entice” or “entertain” or claim to “enlighten” their students with some new found knowledge. They call upon sources outside of the Bible for establishing Biblical truths. However, truth comes from the WORD of GOD. Take it to the WORD OF GOD. SCRIPTURE should back up the teachers words – and remember, you cannot use just one or two scriptures to build a doctrine. Take it to the WORD - do not trust the word of another human being.
Their focus shifts from the Word of God
A Godly called teacher puts emphasis and attention for truth on God and God's Word. A true teacher will say, “what does the Word of God say”, whereas a false teacher will put the emphasis upon themselves to gain a following and to entice people to listen to them. They desire followers more than to please God and lead people to His Word – the truth.