The Deceitfulness of False Teachers

Part one.

By Nick Bibile


Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.


Last week on Ephesians 4:13 we saw the purpose of the Christian is to glorify God and this can be done by becoming a mature strong Christian that your goal is to be like Christ the perfect one. How can we accomplish this goal?


The answer is that growth comes in sanctification. What do you mean by sanctification? It means to be set apart to God, separated unto God from the world and the flesh. Reading and studying his word, applying his word to your life, having a good prayer life, trusting in his Holy Spirit doing the will of God.  Worshipping and serving God, having fellowship with strong Christians where they teach the fullness of his word.


Now if you are not growing in your sanctification, then you can be a victim of the enemy and be easily deceived by his craftiness.


Jesus said that he is the way, the truth and life. He is the door. He is the bread of life. He is the living water. He is the Good Shepherd that laid his life for the sheep. Then on the other side there is Satan, he is the deceiver, he knows the word of God, he will even use the word of God like how he used it against our Lord, he will twist the word of God, he will delete the context and the meaning. He will come within the church as an angel of light; his goal is deception through trickery.  He will use men to accomplish this task and they would come as ministers of the gospel, teachers of the Bible, priests of God who are in reality wolves in sheep clothing and they will lead many astray.


First let us look at the nature of the enemy, Satan.


He will use the word of God if he wants to and he is a liar as he will not tell the truth in context, his goal is deception through promises.  He did this to our first parents.


Remember God told Adam out of all the trees you can eat but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die. (Ge 2:16-17) Now this is the truth.


Let us see how the enemy used the truth of God for a lie and gave false promises to Eve when he said, “You will not surely die.” (The lie) Then he said, “God knows in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:4-5)  Here we see the enemy is saying you will be like God…..and you will know good and evil, meaning you will know everything. This is the temptation to be like God and to know everything, the false promise and you will not surely die.


Satan quoted scripture to Jesus out of context as he said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus out of context.


Satan has deceived people in the world that he looks like a mean ugly looking devil but the Bible tells the truth as he comes as an angel of light.


2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.


And so are his workers, the false apostles, false teachers, and false ministers of the gospel.


2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


His goal again is the same deception.


2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

 4 For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.


Let’s begin with verse 14.

That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.


Having spoken of that mature Christian whose goal is to become perfect in Christ, apostle Paul reminds us that, during such a progress, we ought not to resemble like children. But there are some who always stay as babes, they always stay on milk. It’s a picture of an old man drinking from the bottle of milk and wearing diapers.  They should be teachers by now but yet they are babes as a result they lack discernment.


Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

 13 For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

 14 But strong meat belonged to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.


1 Cor 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.


They act like infants and unable to undergo hardships and trials easily falls in to temptations.


That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.


Tossed to and fro and carried about is illustrated by two striking metaphors. The first is taken from small ships, exposed to the huge angry of the waves in the open sea, where you will be tossed by the power of the waves to and fro, cannot stay on the course and not guided, but carried  along by the violence of the waves. The next is taken from straws, or anything that is very light which are carried here and there as the wind drives them every where, and often in opposite directions.


 That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.


By every wind of doctrine. Another beautiful metaphor meaning the doctrines or teachings of men as many are drawn away from the truth of the gospel by every false teachings, are called winds.  Such is the man who is always get tossed by every wind of false teachings they get cannot stay in the course not guided but carried along with deceptive teachings and so gullible, lack of discernment as they are so light they will be carried by the wind of the false teachers. This shows the unstable character as these people do not rest on the foundation of God’s eternal truth but rest on man’s teachings, they don’t look to God but to men.  


We saw how the victims of false teachers are described as blown by every wind, not let us see how Jude gives another metaphor of the false teachers which is very similar to the metaphor we saw before.


Jude 1:12-13 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.


They will carry you every where according to what the flesh would like to hear, they will do it without the fear of God as they serve themselves. Their teachings hold no water just clouds that is carried by the winds of false teachings, there is no fruit in their lives as you can see from their behavior, how they live it is according to the pattern of the world, they bring death to many souls.


That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.


Look at the strong words apostle use, trickery, cunning, craftiness, deceitful.


Today we are living in the days of great apostasy, a falling away from the truth of the gospel, departure from the true faith. There were false teachers during the time of Jesus and they came within, Jesus exposed them as savage wolves in sheep clothing. There were false teachers during the time of the apostles, they too exposed their teachings. The church fathers defended the false teachings as they exposed them too. The Reformers and the Puritans rediscovered the truth of Christianity and they defended the truth from heresy of Roman Catholicism and Arminianism.


Today not only the cults like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness along with Roman Catholicism  have grown to a large number, and with the rise of Arminianism there is a large growth of all kinds of strange teachings that comes within the church.  Not only have we had to defend the cults, Roman Catholicism, Arminianism but also all kinds of false doctrines that are rapidly growing all over.  


Ac 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.


Best way to identify the false teachers is to get a good foundation in doctrine.


False teachers are savage wolves in sheep clothing.  If you are not a strong Christian, who I mean in strong in doctrine, you will not identify them as they come in sheep clothing, meaning they look like Christians and act like Christians. They will use the Bible, scriptures just like Satan; they will come as an angel of light. The only way to identify them is by having a good grounding of the true faith, which I mean by the overall, general doctrines of Christianity.  Every Christian cannot go to a seminary to Bible College, even the majority of the seminaries and Bible colleges are filled with corrupted professors who teach false doctrines. I suggest every Christian should have the following tools to grow.


A good Bible, I suggest Geneva Study Bible, King James or New King James, New American Standard.  A good concordance like Strongs. Expository dictionary especially of the New Testament words. Then every Christian should have a good systematic theology book, you can have more than one. The one I recommend is by Louis Berkhof or Robert L. Reymond.  What is systematic theology? Systematic theology covers all the main teachings of scripture in a comprehensive manner in context.  It also covers heresies, historical teachings of the church; this is a must to all growing Christians.


Now once you have a good grounding you can identify the false teachers easily.


2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


The word study means not just reading but applying your mind to the scriptures and examining them carefully in context. Diligently studying.  One who is approved unto God. Not according to the popular teachings but approved by God. Usually God’s perspective is not the popular teachings or what the majority holds, then we are not ashamed, you are not only a hearer but a workman a laborer who labors in the word of God. When it says rightly dividing the word of truth means cutting straight, not like blowing according to every wind of doctrine but staying on course.


To be continued.