Seven False Teachers in the Church

Author: Michele at ScriptureStudy.Guide
Posted August 20, 2021

The church has always been under attack by the evil one. One of Satan’s most effective weapons is the false teacher. What better way to accomplish this than by corrupting God’s Word in the seminary schools so they release “puffed-up” teachers of false doctrines into our church houses. Men without the Holy Spirit can be given a college degree to gain access into churches where they can earn a paycheck to speak that which man taught them. Here are eight types of false teachers to look out for.

1. The Heretic

The Heretic is the most dangerous of all false teachers. He denies core fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. He takes what is in God’s Word, twists it or outright denies it, and says he has something better. He affirms that which God forbids and does it under the guise of love. He denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and offers another path to “salvation.” Or he denies Jesus was born of a virgin, or he denies the atonement of Jesus Christ, or he denies that God is Triune. He is always on the prowl.

The bible speaks of the heretic in 2 Peter 2:1 — “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

2. The Charlatan

The Charlatan is the teacher who is in his role only for himself. He sees Christianity as a means for personal gain. Christians are known to open their wallets much more quickly than those of no faith, and the Charlatan uses this to his advantage. He tells the people what they want to hear to enrich himself so he may live a life of ease and comfort. No matter how much he receives, he will always want more. He pretends to be a shepherd, but he only ever takes. He is proud, knows not the Truth, but engages in debate about words and prophecy believing this is godliness.

The bible speaks of the Charlatan in 1 Timothy 6:3-5 — “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

3. The “Prophet”

The false Prophet claims to bring his people fresh revelation from God. Yes, God has spoken to him directly and revealed secrets to him. He has been given new understanding from God. He says he is able to explain the bible better with these new revelations. Even if the word God brought to him seems contradictory to the bible, it is to be trusted. He assures you God has spoken to him and claims this heir and peddles this story that he claims to be true.

The bible speaks of the false prophet in 1 John 4:1 — “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

4. The Abuser

The Abuser uses his position to gain prominence and/or to feed his sexual lusts. He will abuse people on his path to fame, glory and prominence. He seeks his own platform and wants to be seen and well known, and honored by the people. He will run over people and/or ruthlessly destroy them to get what he wants. He earns the trust of Christians so he can abuse men, women and/or children in order to satisfy his lusts. He is a man with a sick, condemned soul.

The bible warns of the Abuser in Jude 4 — “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

5. The Divider

The Divider may hold any role in a church. It may come in the form of books or false teachings being promoted by the leader. Or it may be a member who viciously attacks the leadership. It is a person who seeks to setup Christian against Christian, causing quarrels and rifts within the church body. He uses small points to falsely claim that some are not mature in the faith while he claims to be in the Spirit. He sneakily creates a wrong and then spreads blame for it onto others. He is worldly and critical and enjoys the chaos he creates.

Jude 18-19 speaks of the Divider — “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

6. The Speculator

The Speculator is an academic. He comes up with something original, or something novel, so he may be heard in the field of academia/biblical research. He desires to be known and seen as intelligent. He may even be an author who came up with something novel in order to sell books. He undermines the certainty of the Christian faith and replaces it with novelty. He takes God’s truth and twists it to come up with something else that appears true but is not. Maybe he’s found hidden codes, or hidden meanings, or maybe something in genealogy. Or maybe he’s obsessed with the end times and with reading contemporary events into scripture. He deals in the speculative.

The bible speaks of the lost Speculator in Titus 3:9 — “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”

7. The Tickler

The Tickler gives the people what they want. He’s a prosperity preacher full of great promises from God for those who support the church (which is always by putting their money into his pocket). He may appear as meek and humble, or come across as a flashy showman. He is a grand storyteller, linking popular current events to scripture. He refuses to teach on anything in God’s Word that may cause someone to feel uncomfortable. He preaches a greasy grace doctrine of once saved, always saved, and just ask and you will receive! You will never hear of the sin problem in his church. He talks of heaven and angels and grace and Jesus, but craves popularity, acceptance, admiration, a life of ease, and… your money. He knows not the holy spirit, but he’s such a likable fellow. He sure can put on a motivating show and keep us hanging by speaking on mysterious topics and stories of the day.

Those seeking to have their ears entertained are why the Tickler stays in business. The bible speaks of the Tickler and his followers in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 — “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

We All Know At Least One

There are very few bible teachers and church leaders out there that I am unable to fit into one of these false teacher molds. Keep in mind though that these men of the antichrist spirit continue to do what they do because people who call themselves Christians support them and give them what they want. Satan is charming, likable, says the right things and makes you feel good — this is one reason why we must pray for discernment and wisdom (James 1:5).

This heresy in our church houses is the Falling Away spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and when it is complete, the Antichrist himself will appear.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Thessalonians 2:3

We Cannot Fix It

Becoming a member in an organization with overhead in a brick and mortar building will cause one to develop emotional ties to that house. God desires us to remain faithful to HIM, not to a church house. If your denomination places one of these false teachers into your church, just move on — you can always return in a year or two when they put in a new pastor. We cannot change these men who do not know the holy spirit… God has not called them to Him (John 6:44).

By remaining under the leadership of a false teacher, we are supporting a man who is not of God and allowing him access to our spiritual life. God has warned us not to bicker and cause division within the church body, so just walk away. Visit other church houses for a while and make new friends. Start your own bible study in your home. Whatever we do, we must not cause damage to our spirit by engaging in the drama or we will become one of them. Let’s strive to remain in God’s way of peace and righteousness, and to remember that God’s Word should be our only teacher (Psalms 32:8).


Source: This article was written based on a teaching by Tim Challies titled “7 False Teachers in the Church Today.”


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