“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14).
The Scriptures are filled with very graphic and somber illustrations of the danger of false teachers and their pernicious doctrines.
Jesus calls false teachers ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15), blind guides of the blind headed for a ditch (Matthew 15:14), and whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27).
In a face-to-face confrontation with the sorcerer Elymas, the Holy Spirit through the mouth of the apostle Paul described this false teacher as “full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness” who unceasingly sought to pervert the straight ways of the Lord (Acts 13:10).
The apostle Peter describes false teachers as brute beasts, spots and blemishes, accursed children, followers of Balaam, wells without water, and black holes (2 Peter 2:12-17).
The prophet Jude identifies them as dreamers, clouds without water, dead fruit trees without any fruit, and raging waves of the sea (Jude 8-13).
In Ephesians 4, Paul compares the doctrines which cause people to get out of their proper spiritual orbit to storm winds which drive a ship off its charted course. How graphic and personal a comparison this is for the apostle; he had survived such a storm and shipwreck a few years prior to the writing of the Ephesians epistle (cf. Acts 27:6-44).
Like a ship during a violent hurricane, false teachers toss people to and fro. Every blast of false doctrine can shipwreck a person’s faith (1 Timothy 1:19). By trickery, cunning craftiness, and deceitful plotting, false teachers ever strive to overthrow people’s faith (2 Timothy 2:18).
Beware of the stormy hot air generated by false teachers.