False Teachings

Galatians 1 ~ TPT

"One Gospel"

I am shocked over how quickly you have strayed away from the Anointed One who called you to himself by his loving mercy. I'm frankly astounded that you now embrace a distorted gospel! That is a fake "gospel" that is simply not true.

There is only one gospel - the gospel of the Messiah! Yet you have allowed those who mingle law with grace to confuse you with lies!

Anyone who comes to you with a different message than the grace gospel that you have received will have the curse of God come upon them!

I will make it clear: Anyone, no matter who they are, that brings you a different gospel than the grace gospel that you have received, let them be condemned and cursed!

I'm obviously not trying to flatter you or water down my message to be popular with men, but my supreme passion is to please God. For if all I attempt to do is to please people, I would not be the true servant of the Messiah.

  • Distorted gospel

  • Deceptive teachings

  • Different message

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Marks of a false gospel:

  • Treats Christ's death as meaningless

  • Says people must obey the law in order to be saved

  • Counts on keeping laws to erase sin

Those who had confused the Galatian believers and perverted the gospel were zealous Jewish Christians who believed that the Old Testament practices such as circumcision and dietary restrictions were required of all believers. Because these teachers wanted to turn the Gentile Christians into Jews, they were called Judaizers

A twisting of the truth is more difficult to spot than an outright lie. The Judaizers were twisting the truth about Christ. They claimed to follow him, but they denied that Jesus' work on the cross was sufficient for salvation.

 

There will always be people who pervert the Good News. Either they do not understand what the Bible teaches, or they are uncomfortable with the truth as it stands. How can we tell when people are twisting the truth? Before accepting the teachings of any group or person, establish if the teaching is about the gospel of Jesus Christ. If the teaching does not match the truth in God's Word, then it is perverted. ~ Taken from footnotes NKJV

The Judaizers were a faction of the Jewish Christians, both of Jewish and non-Jewish origins, who regarded the Levitical laws of the Old Testament as still binding on all Christians.

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But I make known to you brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 
~ Paul (NKJV)

Paul had been one of the most religious Jews of his day, scrupulously keeping the law and relentlessly persecuting Christians. Before his supernatural conversion Paul had been even more zealous for the law than the Judaizers. He had surpassed his contemporaries  in religious knowledge and practice. Paul had been sincere in his zeal - but wrong! When he miraculously met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, his life changed! He then directed all his energies toward building up the Christian church. ~ Taken from footnotes NKJV

Religion is vulnerable and open to influences from the world and the enemy, false teachings and twisted truths.
The Kingdom of God is secure in the Truth and has no breaches for wrong influence to seep through.

When you move and think in Religion you will easily be susceptible to what comes in sheep's clothing. The enemy is a master of taking Truth and covering it with a 'sweet' coating of religion in order to twist it for your liking. He craftily uses scripture to back his deceitful intentions.

The Kingdom of God is secure and advances in righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. There is no need to defend Truth as it defends itself. Truth does not get offended nor does it get angry. It will simply make itself known through peace.

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE REST WILL BE ADDED TO YOU. GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD [not the world and its kingdom and the way it operates] AND IT WILL BE WELL WITH YOU.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:6 NKJV


So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

Ephesians 5:6 ~ TPT

Don't be fooled by those who speak their empty words and deceptive teachings telling you otherwise. This is what brings God's anger upon the rebellious! Don't listen to them or live like them at all.

Paul said that even if an angel from heaven comes preaching another message, that angel should be 'accursed'. If an angel came preaching another message, he would not be from heaven, no matter how he looked. In 2 Cor 11:14, 15,  Paul warned that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Paul invoked a curse on any angel who spreads a false gospel. The message must never change, for the truth of the gospel never changes.

The Galatian believers had become fascinated by the false teacher's arguments, almost as though they had been bewitched. Magic was common in Paul's day (Acts 8:9-11; 13:6, 7). Magicians used both optical illusions and Satan's power to perform miracles, and people were drawn into the magician's mysterious rites without recognizing their dangerous source. 

~ Taken from footnotes NKJV

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In Galatia, the people were confused by another religion that was preached by the Judaizers. In Colosse, there was another group that opposed the true gospel of Christ and they were called Gnostics. Paul was exposing a heresy in the Colossian church that was similar to Gnosticism. Gnostics valued the accumulation of knowledge, but Paul pointed out that knowledge in itself is empty. To be worth anything, it must lead to a changed life and right living. 

~ Taken from footnotes NKJV

Gnosticism is a collection of religious ideas and systems which originated in the late 1st century AD among Jewish and early Christian sects. These various groups emphasised personal spiritual knowledge above the orthodox teachings, traditions, and authority of the church.

Colossians 1:28 ~ NKJV

Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 

Paul preached the gospel of grace and of Jesus Christ - the doctrine of the Word of God. He did not preach doctrines of man or doctrines of demons. The gospel of grace includes warning and teaching. It is not only the pretty things we want to hear, it also includes correction. Many churches today never corrects and only teach on the love of God.

The problem that Paul was combatting in the Colossian church was similar to Gnosticism (from the Greek word for knowledge). Gnosticism became fashionable in the second century and sounded attractive to many, and exposure to such teachings could easily seduce a church that didn't know the Christian doctrine well. SImilar teachings still pose significant problems for many in the church today. The only way to combat heresy is to become thoroughly acquainted with God's Word.  Heresy (teaching contrary to biblical doctrine).

Colossians 2:4-10 ~ NKJV

Not Philosophy but Christ

Now, this I say, lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words..

As you, therefore, have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 

Paul wrote against any philosophy of life based only on human ideas and experiences. Paul himself was a gifted philosopher, so he is not condemning philosophy. He is condemning teaching that credits humanity, not Christ, with being the answer to life's problems. That approach becomes a false religion.  There are many man-made approaches to life's problems, which is fine and good however, if it does not glorify God and does not give credit to God, but makes man a god, then that is false teaching. 

Colossians 2:18 ~ NKJV

Not Legalism but Christ

So, let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints an ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Old Testament laws, holidays, and feasts pointed toward Christ. Paul calls them a "shadow" of the reality that was to come - Christ Himself. When Christ came he dispelled the shadow. If we have Christ, we have what we need to know and please God. 

The false teachers were proud of their humility! This false humility brought attention and praise to themselves rather than to God. False humility is self-centered; true humility is God-centered.

The false teachers were claiming that God was far away and could be approached only through various levels of angels. They taught that people had to worship angels in order to eventually reach God. ~ Taken from footnotes NKJV

Colossians 2:20 ~ NKJV

Not Legalism but Christ

If you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations - "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using - according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

More will follow..