Written by Jay Yeager
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 18:42


I Know How to Identify False Teaching and

Teachers (And what to do with them)

(By Jay Yeager)


     The seriousness of this subject is inescapable to every thoughtful person. False teaching is nothing but an illusion, a mirage that seems real but offers nothing of lasting value. False teaching is a lie, that there are those who may want it (II Timothy 4:2-4), and others that believe it (II Thessalonians 2:10-12), does not make it any less destructive. Any religion that separates from God is not a religion worth having (II John 9-11).


     Beloved, that one can know false teaching clearly implies that you can know the truth and the Bible affirms that to be the case. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Jesus knew that we could know the truth, and so did the apostle John. “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth” (I John 2:21). That truth is recorded on the pages of God’s book (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:3; John 17:17). Therefore we are instructed to be students of the word (II Timothy 2:15), searching the scriptures (Acts 17:11) to prove all things (I Thessalonians 5:21).


     In this lesson we will examine some of the false teaching that has affected so many souls; false teaching that has abused that which is holy and sacred. We will discuss that abuse in three areas. We will do so with the proper attitude (II Timothy 2:24-26), but we will not apologize for hating every false way, for God does (Psalms 119:104).


False teachers that abuse our Lord Jesus Christ

     We begin not with a religion, but a book, a translation. The New International Version, that despite its grievous error has wide spread acceptance even among the Lord’s church. Our focus will be on the shameful treatment of Jesus Christ in three separate areas.

     1. The New International Version robs Jesus of a distinction that applies to him alone. The “only begotten Son of God” (John 1:14; 18; 3:16; 18; I John 4:9), The New International Version removes the word “begotten” and has Jesus as God’s only Son. Years ago I visited a congregation in Montana which had the New International Version in the pew, and I ask the preacher and one of the elders if they would allow me to preach there if I did not believe that Jesus was the “Only begotten Son of God”? They answered by saying, “Well, we know that he is the only begotten Son of God”. Folks, I have a question, how many generations will it take before they don’t know? Why would anyone want to promote a translation that robs Jesus of a unique distinction that applies to him alone???


     Furthermore, it is factually wrong. Jesus is not God’s only son. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (I John 3:1). Again, listen to the inspired words of II Corinthians 6:17-18. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty”. 

     2. The New International Version abuses the death of Jesus. There are four different words translated “hell” in the King James Version. Sheol, Hades, Gehenna and Tartarus, I am not certain why they translated all four words as hell, but my guess would be for the sake of uniformity. The New International Version does not translate even one word informally. Sheol in the Old Testament corresponds with Hades in the New Testament (Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:27; 31). It is the unseen realm of the dead (Luke 16:19-31).


     How does the New International Version translate the word Hades? Well, three different ways: In Luke 16:23 they translate Hades as “Hell”, in Matthew 16:18 they use the word Hades as it is in the text, but in Acts chapter 2 verses 27 and 31 they translate the word Hades as “grave”. They have the soul of Jesus going into the grave. Folks, is that what Jesus had in mind when he said to the thief on the cross; “…Today thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43)? Why would you translate the same word three different ways?

     3. The New International Version abuses the resurrection of Christ. Three times God verbally acknowledges Christ from heaven:

  1. At his baptism (Matthew 3:13-17).
  2. On the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5).
  3. Then again as Calvary loomed ever nearer (John 12:27-28).

     There was a forth time, not in words to be sure, but in action: Darkness that covered the earth from noon until 3:00 P.M. (Matthew 27:45; Amos 8:9). The veil of the temple rent from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). The earth quaked and the rocks rent (Matthew 27:51). The graves were opened, but specifically, the dead did not come out of the grave until after the resurrection (Matthew 27:52-53).


     Here is the reason: Jesus is the firstfruits of them that slept (I Corinthians 15:20), the first begotten of the dead (Revelation 1:5), the firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Were others raised from the dead before Jesus? Yes, Lazarus (John 11:39-44), the widow’s son (Luke 7:11-16) and others. But Jesus was the first to be raised without any earthly intervention. The New International Version robs Jesus of that distinction by having the dead coming out of the grave before the resurrection of Christ, but not appearing in the city until after Jesus was raised (Matthew 27:52-53).


False teachers that abuse the Lord’s church    

     Religious bodies that are complete strangers to the word of God are convinced they are the church without a single shred of evidence to support their claim. It may be easier to get Mister Ed to count to four or Lassie to run and bark when Timmy says, “Lassie, get help” than it is to get a false teacher to acknowledge the significance of the “I” and “My” of Jesus in Matthew 16:18. “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against it” 

     Nevertheless, with or without their acknowledgement, the Bible teaches in plain terms that Jesus Christ built his church (Matthew 16:18). He purchased that church with his own shed blood (Acts 20:28). He is the head of the church, which is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23). There is only one body (Ephesians 4:4), and reconciliation unto God is in that one body (Ephesians 2:16).


     Denominations? As already stated they are absent from the pages of the New Testament, the Bible does not authorize the existence of a single one. “Well”, say one, “Can so many people be wrong?” Folks, it has never been safe to follow the majority (Matthew 7:13-14). The heart of the issue is this; Jesus Christ never built a single denomination. That means every denomination was built by someone else, at some other time, in some other place.


     May I raise this question? To what end? Here is the unpleasant answer. The church built by Christ did not suit them, so they built their own. To give their denominations a cloak of legitimacy they use the word “church”, even though they are not! In our time so wide spread is the acceptance of denominationalism that few even question it.


     However, in their haste to build something to suit their needs and taste, they have failed to consider God.  Of course, those discontented with the church built by Christ claim that God is behind their actions to build something different. God has said through his word, NO, I AM NOT! “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God, He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 9-11). We want no part of that and our hope and prayer is that you will not either.


False teachers that abuse the Lord’s plan of salvation

     What motivates false teachers to give only a part of the conditions of salvation and omit others? Is it to draw a crowd, fill the coffers, to be popular? I do not know, but I do know this, whether they know it or not they serve a different master than the one they claim to serve (II Corinthians 11:14-15). Further, they pose a genuine danger, for with good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:18).


     By far, the most believed false teaching concerning salvation is “Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour”. Over the airwaves and in their writings they teach that salvation can be obtained by saying a prayer, they will even give you the words to say. “Right now, pray a simple prayer and ask Christ to save you”


     “Dear Lord, I know that I’m a sinner, and that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins. Please come into my heart and save me, in Jesus name, Amen” GLORY! IT’S GREAT TO BE A CHRISTIAN!” (From the tract – “ARE YOU SURE?”)


     Folks, have you ever wondered why they write the prayer one is to say? Here is the answer: they have to, for no such prayer exists in the scriptures. Not a single time does anyone speaking by the inspiration of God tell one who is outside of Christ to pray a prayer – Not once! What does the Bible teach concerning salvation?

  1. Everyone must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17).
  2. Everyone must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24).
  3. Everyone must genuinely repent of past sins (Luke 13:3; 5).
  4. Everyone must confess Christ before men (Matthew 10:32-33).
  5. Everyone must be baptized to have their past sins remitted (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

 What to do with false teachers 

     “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18).

     “And have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).


     May I close with the sentiments expressed by Solomon; “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).