Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Proverbs 19 : 27 - 29 False Teachers

Pro 19:27  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
Pro 19:28  An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.
Pro 19:29  Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

Just don't listen to 'em!!

Ever been told that before?  In these verses, Solomon is drawing a line in the sand . . . he has told us to pay attention to wisdom, to seek instruction from God and from mature, wise, godly folk. Now he is saying to avoid false teachers, and those who would give an ungodly or false witness. Those who would have nothing but scorn for wisdom and true knowledge.

Hmmm. And how does a Christian know if a person is a false teacher? Scripture tells us this can be difficult --- it even tells us that Satan can masquerade as an angel!  Well, even if you are a new Christian, the best way to detect a false teacher or an ungodly witness is to know the truth. Let's face it, if you have a real dollar bill in one hand, and a counterfeit in the other, you are more likely to be able to ferret out the small differences, right? So if you want to be able to spot a counterfeit, you should study the "real deal."  If you "correctly handle the word of truth" (II Tim. 2:15) and make a careful study of the Bible you should be able to identify false doctrine.
There are a couple of questions that can help us out:
            1. What does this person say about Jesus?
            2. Does this person preach the gospel?
            3. Does this person exhibit character traits that glorify God?
In other words, Jesus and His work of redemption are of the utmost importance, so if the teacher denies any of the Scriptures' teachings about Christ, you know it's just not right. And just as importantly, no one has a right to change the message of the gospel - Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection.  And thirdly, Jesus told us to beware of false teachers, and how to know them:
Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. . .
So, do you see kindness, patience, and purity in the teacher, or do you see greed, rebellion, or pride in them?
It's vitally important to be thoroughly familiar with the truth, so that we can then recognize a counterfeit. Then we can, as Jesus counseled the apostles, "be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves."

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