“But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
Peter, one who walked with Jesus, warned us that there were false teachers back then and will be in our day. Jude warned this as well,
“I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches…” Jude 4
I experienced this first hand last weekend. Let me explain.
My family and I attend a very small local Christian, Bible believing church here in Hamburg, Germany. Ray was sitting next to a man and his wife who were just visiting. They said they were from Taiwan, living in Australia, have a Healing Ministry and their next stop was London. The man said that he usually visits churches and tries to find a time during the service where he can “jump in” and speak, but at our church service, he found it difficult to jump in so didn’t.
After the church service was over, I was sitting next to someone that attends our church and he was sitting next to the visitor with the healing ministry. I could hear the conversation and some things I heard just didn’t sound right.
It didn’t take long and everything in me was shouting “red flag! false teacher!” I couldn’t sit any longer. I ran and got Ray and told him to come and listen to what this guy was saying to our friend Sean. I also sat and listened. This guy was fixated on this verse,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12
At that point Ray jumped into the conversation with some other Scriptures. The guy just kept saying, something like, “it took me 30 years to get this verse. And we can have the power even greater.” This guy has a healing ministry, his message to us was to get the power to do even greater things than Jesus. He told us to keep reading that verse over and over. We shared other Scriptures and that we have to remember getting the power also isn’t for our glory.
We should always be pointing people to Jesus, not ourselves, just like Peter and John did in Acts 3 after the lame man was healed.
This “healing” man claimed that he himself healed a man from leukemia in three days. Ray shared that we don’t see that happening in the Bible. When the apostles and Jesus healed or raised people from the dead, it was instantly – not taking three days and if the healing took three days that isn’t doing “greater things than what Jesus did.” The man said, “It took Jesus four days to raise Lazarus from the dead.” I told him that he was wrong and reminded him that it was instantly not four days later (see John 11:43-44)
“Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
This guy couldn’t sit still and looked very nervous. He switched to talking about people’s lack of faith. He didn’t admit that what he had said was wrong and not in the Bible.
This guy was truly trying to convince us to get the power and then we can use it and do greater things. He never talked about doing greater things for God’s glory.
This incident reminded me of a man who saw the power coming out of Peter and John, and wanting this power. (see Acts 8):
“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. 19 “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”
20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought!”
We saw this couple quietly sitting with anyone in our church who would listen to them. They were clearly there to spread their agenda – quietly. They were clearly teaching “another Jesus”.
In the end, the man said, “oh you just haven’t been enlightened.” We alerted our Pastor and his wife to what was going on.
Please, read and know what God says. Don’t just believe people who come in the name of Jesus or say they are a Christian. There are many using Jesus’ name, but aren’t teaching the same Jesus, the Jesus in the Bible.
Jesus also warned us not only about false teachers/prophets, but they will perform great signs and wonders.
“And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.” Matthew 24:11
“For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” Matthew 24:24
I also want to note that one week before, Ray, was sitting in a different church service where there was a guest speaker who was clearly a false teacher. The guest speaker said that he had a message from God “thus saith the Lord, a key to present to you…” What the this teacher taught, went against what the Bible teaches and didn’t point people to Jesus, but potentially turned them elsewhere.
BEWARE: False teachers are alive and active.