False Prophets and Teachers


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As the Body of Christ, we must be able to recognize false prophets, teachers and doctrine. The Bible study, taught at Breath of Life International Church, teaches God's people how to know and recognize the characteristics of the false.

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False Prophets and Teachers

  1. 1. BREATH OF LIFE INTERNATIONAL CHURCH Latreia Bible Study 17 August 2011 False Prophets and TeachersTrue and False Spiritual LeadershipJesus, our savior and master teacher, did not shy away from bringing attention to falseteachers. He was very bold and clear about confronting those who lacked integrity andexplaining to them what characteristics mark those who are called by and are serving God.Interestingly enough, Jesus confirmed much of what the Pharisees taught, but not what theydid.Scripture Reference: Matthew 23:1-12What Leadership Characteristics were important to Jesus?  Authority (vs. 1-2)  Integrity (vs. 3)  Sympathy (v. 4)  Humility (vs. 5-7)According to Jesus’ teaching, what are the characteristics of true spiritual leadership?  Humility (vs. 8-12)  Willingness to serve (vs. 8-12)  Lack of emphasis on title/position (vs. 8-12)Think about your personal experiences with leadership. What qualities have you seen thatwere mentioned in Jesus’ message toward the Pharisees? Which of these qualities have youexhibited? Were the majority of these examples of true or false leadership? Bible Study | False Prophets and Teachers | Page 1
  2. 2. What is False Religion?False teachers are birthed from a spirit of false RELIGION. We do not preach religion, but all ofus are religious. Religion simply defines the outward expression of one’s spiritual beliefs. Thatexpression includes our actions and thought processes as a result of our belief system.Scripture Reference: James 1:26-27Characteristics of FALSE Religion  Hypocritical (Matthew 6:5-8; 15:8)  Self-deceiving (Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 4:4)  Worthless and Empty (2 Timothy 3:5; Acts 4:12; Acts 13:38; Ephesians 2:12)Characteristics of TRUE Religion  Controlled Tongue (Psalm 141:3)  Compassionate Heart (Acts 10:38; Matthew 9:36; Ephesians 2:8-10)  Consecrated Lifestyle (2 Timothy 2:21)What do false teachers look like?Paul was very careful to warn the church of false prophets and teachers. He felt it wasimportant for them to be “on guard” against such leaders.Scripture Reference: 2 Peter 2Characteristics and Signs of False Prophets and Teachers  Among the people; no strangers to the church  Secretive  Greed and exploitation (money, power and ambition)  Reckless  Self-willed  Lack good reasoning; operate without proper knowledge  Operate in deception and are often deceived; lack true discernment  Carouse with believers  Gravitate toward instability (people and situations)  Forsake the righteous way  Follow the ways of Balaam (use spiritual gifts for personal gain)  Offer false promises; live in bondage to sin  Entice desires of the flesh  Often entangles with worldly affairs, though true salvation is always before them Bible Study | False Prophets and Teachers | Page 2
  3. 3. How do we discern false teachers?False prophets are not always as obvious as we’d like them to be. We must understand how todiscern that which is false, as they often appear to be sincere, even powerful.Scripture Reference: Matthew 7:13-23YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS!Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 13; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Deuteronomy 13:1-5The Fruit of False Doctrine  Speaking from one’s own delusion or opinion, rather than as instructed by God  Deny or contradict God’s word, rather than defending it  Deny unpleasant judgments and instruction from God  Offer only temporary relief to problems and concerns  Tell people what they want to hear  Reject the deity of Christ and the power of His work on the crossThe Fruit of False Teaching  Teach others to reject God’s word and biblical authority  Teaching causes division among the saints  Lead followers to a life of sensuality and pleasure seeking  Very deceptive in style and approach  Not consistent in instruction  Consistently foretell things that never come to pass; lack of proof and integrity  Lack of powerThe Fruit of Questionable Character  Prideful  Greedy  Often immoral  Dominating  Abusive by using guilt and control to manipulate followers  Profess to know God, but deny Him in action  Delight in authority, but refuse to submit to it  Lack of accountability Bible Study | False Prophets and Teachers | Page 3
  4. 4. Know the FruitAccording to the word of God, fruit are the indication between the true and the false. We mustalways strive to bear good fruit and look for the same in others, especially our leaders.Consider and discuss the following verses of Scripture.Key Scripture References  Matthew 7:13-23; 12:33-35  1 Corinthians 14:37  1 Timothy 6:5  Deuteronomy 13:1-5Additional Supporting Scriptures  Psalm 1:3; 92:13-14  Jeremiah 11:19; 17:8  Luke 13:6-9  Galatians 5:22-24  Ephesians 5:9  James 3:17-18Personal Study Notes Bible Study | False Prophets and Teachers | Page 4