I love some good Bible studies and teaching from God’s Word. I have several favorite teachers, including of course, our church’s pastor. As much as I enjoy taking part in women’s studies whenever possible, I’ve come to realize more and more how crucial it is for believers to check everything against our standard: the Bible.
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2)
One of the best ways to know whether a teacher, author, and even a pastor is sound in his doctrine is to go to God’s Word to determine if what they are saying is in fact accurate. Additionally, ask God for His wisdom and discernment. Anyone worth his salt will say, “don’t take my word for it; go search it out for yourself in God’s Word”. Unfortunately, people will manipulate God’s Word to read or interpret it to fit their agenda. It’s vital to ask the Holy Spirit to help you read the Bible. It’s important to read God’s Word in the context in which it was written.
Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. (Mark 13:5)
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. (Mark 13:22-23)
My husband, who has the gift of teaching, has cautioned me on more than one occasion that just because a book is stocked and consequently sold within a Christian bookstore doesn’t mean it is sound doctrine. In fact, many years ago, I worked in a Christian bookstore and quite often customers requested a particular & very popular book that the owner would not carry because he believed it to be inaccurate teaching. We have to be careful to remember that there is an enemy who is alive and well who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) Our minds have been said to be the battleground. What better place for our enemy to attack us than in our minds. (2 Timothy 1)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Clearly, it is evident why we need to be familiar with God’s Word so that we can discern the enemy’s lies from God’s truth. My childhood pastor illustrated it this way: ‘if you wanted to create a counterfeit dollar bill, how would you go about it? You would study the real thing‘. I wholeheartedly believe this is our enemy’s tactic. He (the enemy) wants us to be confused, so busy that we can’t take the time to discern for ourselves, distracted, and consequently exchange the truth for a lie.
The takeaway: Don’t allow yourself to be fooled and duped. Seek out the truth by studying God’s Word for yourself, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He loves to give us wisdom and knowledge but we must ask for it.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)