The Scripture, knowing generally that false christs would increase in number on the earth from the days of the apostles until Jesus returns, and knowing specifically that the American church would be in the sorry state it is in today, forewarned of these things, in the hopes that we might be prepared to deal with them when they come upon us, and that God’s elect would not be deceived.
We are told two primary things regarding the deception of the church: it will be disguised with the name of Jesus and it will consist of doctrines not taught by the apostles.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 2 Corinthians 11: 3 – 4
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. Romans 16: 17 – 18
The implications of these warnings by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture are that we are not to assume that because our pastors open a Bible and say “Jesus” that they are handing down the apostolic message, but rather we are to test the message we receive. We are to test the message not only when we feel something is off, but we are to test the message even if we are perfectly content in our church and with our pastor, for the nature of deception is this: you don’t know you are deceived while you are being deceived. You only know you were deceived after the truth has been made known. Therefore let us continually test the truth.
There is only one real Jesus, and the teachings we are to believe about Him need to correspond to the teachings passed down by the apostles and authors of Scripture, not the teachings of our contemporary pastors and the books of Christian publishing. If a pastor or Christian book explains the Scriptures and apostolic doctrine, they have succeeded in their call; otherwise they have failed.
Posted here on this site will be teachings found in the Scripture, to help you grow in discernment of truth, as well as teachings not found in Scripture, to help you grow in discernment of error and to demonstrate how to spot false teachings in Christian veneer.
May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.