The Bible tells us that Satan comes disguised as an angel of light. “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). It’s the same with false teachers, who are often popular and well-spoken. Their messages resonate and seem to contain godly wisdom. But when compared with the Word of God, their promises ring hollow, and their path leads to disappointment and destruction. Anyone can use religious verbiage and try to appear deeply spiritual, but God is not impressed. Neither should we be, nor should we be fooled. “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” (Prov. 26:28)
The pursuit of godliness is a journey of many steps. It begins when we come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and it continues day in and day out for the rest of our earthly lives. But false teachers threaten to drive us off the road to godliness. By attacking the Word of God, they undermine our faith in the Lord, and they chip away at our knowledge of the Truth.
Satan wants nothing more than to halt our ongoing trek into godliness. If he can get us living and believing like the rest of the world, he has neutralized our effectiveness for the Kingdom. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
So what are we to do with false teachers? Paul gives us the answer: “They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.” (Titus 1:11). In today’s world of television, radio, and the Internet, it seems that no one is silent. That is why it’s up to each of us, as we study the Bible and develop discernment, to stop listening to false teachers. Turn off the television. Change the radio station. Stop visiting the websites of men and women who would dare to pervert the Word of God for personal gain. And when you have the opportunity, help others to do the same.
The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for. Pray for wisdom and discernment.
Prayer: Lord, give me Your wisdom to discern false teaching. Protect me from Satan's attacks with Your Word so that I may point others to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.