Discerning False Teachers from Real Jesus
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” (1 John 4:1-3, NLT)
False teaching. False Gospel. Counterfeit Jesus. This week, I was reminded big time of just how much we need to be on guard against these things.
I’m sure that by now, you’ve all seen the Plandemic video that’s gone viral. If you haven’t, it’s basically
a documentary that’s been put out to spin a conspiracy that questions the government’s intentions behind the COVID-19. Whether or not the video is based in fact isn’t what I want to jump into today, but I will admit, the video caused me to anxiety spiral for a few hours. The way it was spun made me start to think of what the Bible says about Jesus coming back again in the book of Revelation. And much as that sounds like a possible overreaction, I was not the only Christian that thought this way.
But the next day, I got a link to a different video that wasn’t aimed at disproving the facts in the video but centered on the director that made Plandemic. Turns out, the guy that produced the documentary is deeply rooted in New Age theology and Gaia worship… all things that reject Jesus and Christianity to its core.
My point? The world was turned upside down– Christians were driven to fear and paranoia– by a video that could be true, in fact, but is produced by a man that promotes demonic and false theology. And it’s all openly out there on his social media profiles.
This is why it’s so important that we learn now: Everything we see and hear must be filtered through what we know about Jesus. What does that mean? If we don’t know Jesus, we will never be able to weed out the manipulative, false teachings that Satan contorts so that Christians will be led astray into fear. We need to keep in mind that false teachers and teachings will never be blatantly wrong. It will be based in fact, from a person that seems trustworthy, except for one thing: it will distort and disagree with the basic, true Gospel.
The best defense we have against it is to know scripture. We have to read our Bible and know it as well as we can manage. Not just the parts that we like or the parts that are comfortable, but the whole counsel of the word. Luckily, scripture gives us a good test to see if something has the “Spirit of God” or the spirit of something decidedly not God, hidden in our key verse. If a prophet or the message they preach denies the fact the Jesus Christ has already come in the flesh, then you can safely toss out what they’re saying and move on. No matter what, all truth will agree with that fact: that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, took on all sin and died, before rising from the dead; but the first step was this: that Jesus has already come in a human body.
We need to start training up our souls to discern false gospel from real truth given from the Holy Spirit. Our first instinct needs to become that when we hear something, we weigh it against what we know the Lord has done and who He is. In today’s age where we have access to more information and more platforms for more people to share their ideas, we have to form these disciplines for ourselves. Because sure, this Plandemic video could have a million truths or half-truths in its first installment, but we don’t know what agenda will ultimately be revealed in the parts that have yet to be uploaded.
Satan will never look to lead you into a blatant trap. Instead, he will look to lull you into a false sense of security that will lead you to compromise a genuine Jesus that came in the flesh to save you from your sins. That is ultimately the truth that he wants you to forfeit.
So yes, this week I learned a practical and valuable lesson in not blindly accepting everything I see, which is very easy to do when we’re isolated and turning to social media for community and entertainment.
But the most important thing is this: if you’ve fallen prey to something false or bought into something before you knew the full truth behind the teaching, don’t beat yourself up about it. The Lord is merciful and will reveal deception to those that are really searching to have more of Jesus. If something is coming to mind and you realize you’ve been tricked by a false gospel, then start to train your soul to test things before you apply them. Ask the Lord for more discernment and to reveal to you where false teaching has started to bleed into your life. The important thing is that you begin to recognize the counterfeit in light of what is really from God.