How can I identify a false teacher preacher or a false message is the question that must and should come to the mind of everyone seeing the times we are in where men will preach another doctrine and will present it as the truth?
The dilemma comes back to us who are to receive and be edified with these messages. I believe that it is better not to know than to know the wrong things.
This is why every message you listen to must be filtered out and originating from the truth and this starts by us identifying the right message and the right teacher and gladly we shall discuss all this today.
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The measure for everyone
This out to be the first point in discerning and identifying any false message or preaching is the measure God has set to everyone, no one is above this measure and this measure is the word of God.
The word of God always has a place of vindicating a man or woman if they are true, they will never struggle at anything, they are always favored and so they will not want to draw men to themselves, and neither will they want to make false disciple after themselves.
The word can never be wrong, everyone is proved by this word, and when one is weighed against this word and is found wanting, then we start having problems.
This weighing is the taking of a man’s doctrine, way of life, and beliefs and weighing it with the truth and this is the word of God. No one will escape this scale.
Jesus one time made a statement in John 12:48 that “any who does not receive his word has one that judges him and this judge is the same word that, that rejected. This is the ultimate judge of all matters.
No one is above the scale of the word of God and so when we judge men basing on what the word says and not how they appear or what they seem to be, we are judging them correctly and so we can identify the false ones from the true ones and we will know what to do when we have made our judgment.
The reason why I am talking about us judging these men or women to confirm if they are true is that we have the word of God residing inside of us and so this word gives us the go-ahead of judging every matter because we are for truth and not against it.
Judge the message not the means
The message should be the first point to note when trying to identifying who the false preacher or pastor. It is the message that they carry that proves whether they are false or true men or women of God.
When it comes to identifying false and true men or women of God, we can sometimes be drawn to the way and form in which they preach.
Some people might want a quieter Sunday sermon while others might want a loud and jumpy Sunday sermon.
It is, however, it is of more importance and use if we just mind the message and how the message was packed and served before the congregation, in other words, the means is never an issue in the kingdom by the what is the issue, the message is all that matters.
Always lookout for the content in the message that they preach and not the actual way they could minister. If a man or woman of God can make the congregation jump up and another could make the congregation behave the opposite, always look out for the distinction and that is the message.
Where is the liberty of the spirit if all were to preach the same way, if all could speak the same way and at the same pace, where could the beauty could be, the means is just one aspect but the message is the full picture?
Judge the man not the message
It is easy to look at a man or woman and claim they are false. This could be in the way they dress or the hairstyle or what you have heard about them.
Just like judging the means and not the message, we should also judge the message here and not the man. The man is the vessel and not every vessel can be made in the way you might think but what the vessel serves is what matters.
The man or woman might look funny and dress like a man who is entering a shrine, do not let this disguise distract you from knowing the truth or the false man of God.
Some who dress most modestly and have the best designers around might be the false men and not this one who has a funny dressing style.
Identifying a false man or woman of God is then to this one thing and that is what message do they present, what revelation do they carry, and nothing about them or around them.
Control of the congregation
This is one of the other signs you should consider when you want to identify a false or true man or woman of God. Who controls the congregation? is it the man of God.
One distinction of a true man or woman of God is that God is in charge and not themselves and the opposite is true. False preachers and pastors always want to control their congregation.
Because false pastors and preachers are trying to build their kingdom, they will therefore work to have all under them and any who wants to submit somewhere else always gets into trouble.
This is how men and women are held in cults, you enter and there is not leaving, the master is preaching to you every Sunday and any other voice is considered the voice of the wolf.
A true minister of God will sweat in order to build for his master who is Jesus and for the kingdom that he represents. This is seen in the way he will lay every building block; he is accountable to the master and the person in control of every situation and the church is Christ and not himself.
Draw men to himself and not to Christ
The main reason behind control is because they want to have a following, they want to have reverence amongst the people, they want to have men drawn to them.
This, however, contradicts the main standpoint of the gospel, the gospel is to draw us to God and not to any man, all the men in our way are just a channel or a vessel to meet this expectation.
So the light you should look for when judging a man or woman of God if they are true preachers or pastors is where do they take men, to themselves or God.
The gospel is not just a way for us to get to heaven, it is a way for us to meet and experience God and every false teaching will never want us to experience God and so these false preachers and pastors draw men to themselves and not to God.
A true minister of God has a mandate of always drawing others to God and to his throne where they can worship, they are not the goal but a vessel to a realization of the goal of every believer which should be constant fellowship with God.
They are not the god in the lives of these men and women but a guide to a greater path of self-discovery in God, they strive to give guidance to people and in turn, these have experiences for themselves.
We are born of an incorruptible word is what Peter told the church in his letter. This means that you carry the full measure of the wisdom and word of God, this might not be evident in your life but it does not disqualify the fact that you have these things in you.
Another portion of the scripture will draw us to note that Jesus has become our highest wisdom, and we live everyday of our lives, every movement we make, and our very being is only in Him who is the complete wisdom of God.
What this brings to our attention is that there is nothing that any man or woman can teach you that is not inside you, the teachings and sermons you receive only activates and makes you see what was residing inside of you all this while.
We carry the highest form of any wisdom in our spirit and any man or woman of God can only confirm that it is so and besides that we have the person of the Holy Spirit residing in us and he is there as our secret teacher, teaching us all things.
A strange fire and a strange doctrine that will not correlate with the fire and wisdom inside you will always trigger the red light inside you, this is called the inner witness.
A true man or woman of God can only confirm what is already affirmed in you and a false one will trigger the red light of your spirit.
Then the question one could ask is why do some still follow these false teachers and false teachings if the red light goes on in our spirit. The honest answer to this will be that these men and women have maybe ignored the inward light and went on with what was presented to them because they came for something.
The point of manipulation in doctrine only comes when we come to God to get something and so you will look for that thing at all cost but when we come to worship God truly, we can be sure that we will be warned by him if we have stepped in the wrong place and not only that, he will not lead us to such place because all we want is him.
Another reason why some continue in these false messages and teaching is that they have not learned to read the word for themselves, they let others read the word for them and so anything these men say is the truth because they trust them to know how to divide the truth of the Bible correctly.
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Indirect addressing of issues
I have seen this to be a problem with many people when they try to identify who is a false preacher or not. They somehow have a certain list of criteria that they expect all the true men and women of God to fall in.
The bad thing with this one is that we try to judge the whole counsel of God basing on what we know and so they sometimes cut off men who are in a right stand with God because they do not pass a certain test.
These people tend to have some messages they expect every man of God to preach one time or regularly or simply they might have some words for example sin, repentance, adultery, or such words which address certain issues and when one does not mention such words, they fall off the category of true men and women of God.
The point I am trying to bring here is that there is a way of talking about a particular subject without mentioning it. There is a wisdom to address a particular matter without ever mentioning these things out.
One can talk about sin in the church without ever mentioning sin in his or her sermon, they can bring a certain conviction of sin among the congregation without talking directly about “stop sinning”.
A typical example I can give to this is supposing there is an issue among believers and this is there is strife among members, one can address this issue by just preaching the unconditional love of God and in this way, they have addressed that issue.
Everyone has certain liberty of the spirit to preach a certain way as long as it edifies the church and the way the person will preach should not be the main concern as long as they are not against what the word of God says.