The Fundamental Characteristics of a False Teacher


          To arrive at the destination of eternal life, you must enter the narrow gate and walk the difficult way (Matthew 7:13-14). Therefore, a multitude of false teachers—wolves in sheep’s clothing—gather themselves at the narrow gate and along the difficult way.

          One clear identifying mark of a false teacher at the narrow gate is his use of smooth words and flattering speech to denigrate your obligation to obediently believe the gospel/the faith (Acts 6:7) and to repent of a life of sin (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30-31). Most frequently, their ploy is to teach that ‘baptism doth not save you’ instead of “baptism doth also now save you” (1 Peter 3:21).

          A second clear identifying characteristic of a false teacher is his strenuous effort to divert you off the difficult way. The necessity of denying ungodliness and worldly lusts and living soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Titus 2:12) is ignored. Grace is taught as an excuse for unholy living, not as a reason for holy living (Jude 4; Romans 6:1-2). The necessity of living under the absolute authority of Jesus in word and deed (Colossians 3:17) and observing all Christ’s commandments as a loving, obedient disciple (Matthew 28:20) is also ignored.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found outside Christ’s church at the narrow gate and inside His church along the difficult way.

          “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16-20).

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Author: jchowning

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