False prophets and teachers are spiritual murderers because they affect the well-being of a person’s eternal soul by leading him or her away from the Word of God. There are several dangerous false teachings: The Gospel of Inclusion , Drunken Anointing, Chrislam, Law of Attraction, and Emergent Church false doctrine. As 1 Timothy 4:1 would put it, they are doctrine of devils and people give heed to these seducing spirits every day. Ignatius in the 2nd century A.D. said, “I urge you…keep away from every strange plant, which is heresy. These people, while pretending to be trustworthy, mix Jesus Christ with poison…I am guarding you in advance because you are very dear to me and I foresee the snares of the devil (Letters to the Trallians 6-8).” Just think of it this way: Carlton Pearson, John Crowder, Rick Warren, E. Bernard Jordan, and Rob Bell are among those who teach these types of heresies and they are guilty of Ezekiel 3:18. They do not act as true watchmen of God that warn the wicked of their iniquity. They make the unsaved believe that they are really saved. Any person who believes or follows such teaching runs the risk of eternal damnation and receiving the “second death” or separation from Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 21:8).
False Prophet John Crowder
Just imagine a whole congregation that follows false teachings! If they believe the teaching until their death, never receive the full revelation of the lie, and never repent for believing the lie, they are spiritually dead. The false teacher has performed spiritual murder. The congregation is deceived into believing a lie and the result is eternal death.
First and foremost, saints of God should always follow the Word of God over their favorite icon preacher or teacher. Deuteronomy 13:1-4 says,
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him..”
Consider the following: Church folks often tell others that the prophet of the Lord told them that a check was coming in the mail because the Word said that their blessings would be pressed down, shaken together and running over. However, the prophet who told them that didn’t line up with the Word of God. They didn’t study. They didn’t receive a revelation from God. Instead, the word the prophet spoke was just some new wild revelation they received through their own flesh. The sad truth is that people eat this poison of unbiblical preaching and teaching, and will fight over what these false ministers have said as being the Truth. Unfortunately, they are unable to see the death of false teaching in the pot ( 2 Kings 4:40). They would rather eat death than the life-giving Word of God.
What the Early Christian Church taught on False Teachers and Prophets
Here are some prime examples of teachings and writings from the Early Christian Church:
Shepherd of Hermes( 2nd century A.D.): " The devil fills him[the false prophet] with his own spirit, to see if he will be able to break down any of the righteous. So those who are strong in the faith of the Lord, having clothed themselves with the truth, do not associate with such spirits"(Mandate 11:3-4).
Justin Martyr(2nd century A.D.): "The devils put forward Marcion of Pontus[a Gnostic teacher], who is even now teaching men to deny that God is the maker of all things in heaven and on earth, and that the Christ predicted by the prophets is His Son, and preaches another god besides the Creator of all, and likewise another son"(Apology 58).
Irenaeus(2nd century A.D.): "But there is another among these heretics, Marcus by name.... It appears probable enough that this man possesses a demon as his familiar spirit, by means of whom he seems able to prophesy....But such spirits as are commanded by these men, and speak when they desire it, are earthly and weak, audacious and impudent, sent forth by Satan for the seduction and perdition of those who do not hold fast that well-compacted faith which they received at first through the church"(Against Heresies 1. 13.1,3,4).
Back to Basics and becoming a Berean
Regrettably, people follow the voice of there favorite preacher or teacher instead of the voice of God. Many saints today lack the discipline to search the scriptures for themselves. They fail to make sure the person they are listening to is telling them the truth. We must be like the Bereans in Berea. Acts 17:10-11 says, “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
The Bereans searched the scriptures. As great as Paul and Silas were, they didn’t just rely on their popular reputation. They made sure what they preached and taught lined up with the Word of God. Please saints, don’t fall for the seduction of false doctrine. It can literally kill you and you’ll suffer the second death as a result. The scriptures don’t suggest karma or purgatory. Carlton Pearson, and Rob Bell may not believe in Hell but that doesn’t mean that Hell isn’t a reality. It is! And what can be worse than Hell itself? Being thrown into the Lake of Fire, tormented for eternity, and separated from Jesus Christ forever.