As a kid, my siblings and I were involved in a number of church activities. My favorite was a ministry called AWANA’s. Every Wednesday night my mom and dad would drop my siblings and I off at AWANA’s. Right away the fun began; two hours of learning bible stories, crafts, playing games and my favorite: bible challenges. Each week, our homework was to read through and bring back the completed workbook section, having memorized the weekly verses. The leaders would quiz us on the homework and we would take turns sitting one on one, word for word reciting the verses. You earned patches and emblems to add to your AWANA vest for the work you completed. I have awesome memories sitting with my dad in our kitchen working through verse memorization together. Each week I returned for AWANA’s, I always felt incredibly accomplished when I could recite an entire verse by memory.
AWANA takes its name from 2 Timothy 2:15
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
(Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed).
As much as you or I strive to rightly handle the word of truth, there will always be others in the world who purposefully and wrongfully handle the word of truth. These people are called False Teachers. There are MANY false teachers and false prophets in the world. Some prefer to appeal to the masses, while others simply prey on individuals to mislead.
Televangelist Benny Hinn is one popular example of a false teacher and prophet appealing to the masses. For many years, Benny has appeared on TV claiming to have special God given miraculous abilities to heal people and prophecy the return of Christ. All his attempts to heal and see the future have been proven false. I have seen first hand the work of false teachings.
I traveled to China many years ago. Several of my teammates had met a Chinese Believer who appeared to be solid in His Christian faith. My friends were invited to continue attending a local bible study taught by this man. After a few sessions, one of my friends became unsettled over some discrepancies with this man’s teaching and found them to be unbiblical. One night after the study, this friend of mine approached the man privately with some rather pointed questions regarding his doctrine. The man became angry and a verbal altercation erupted. Many days after the dust settled, the other locals were fully aware of this man’s false doctrine. As a result, he was kicked out of the group and refused further conversations with my friend.
Both examples are real and daily life happenings around the globe. For those of us who walk on solid ground they can be unsettling reminders that our world is being temporarily ruled by the Prince of Darkness, Satan. He will use workers of the flesh to entice you with untruths, in hopes to lead you astray from God. This is why you MUST clothe yourself daily with the words of the Lord in your heart and know truth from untruth.
It remains essential for you to know the truth in order to weed out false teachings. Do not fear these liars, but know what you believe and why you believe it.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”
John makes it very clear in 1 John 4:1-3. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”
Rest assured, as you begin or continue to share your faith with others, you will encounter those with opposing beliefs. Proceed with respect and love for they have been led astray. The Holy Spirit will give you words to say and He can use you to guide them back to the truth.
For Deaf 316 Ministries’ full Biblical Doctrine, consult the BELIEFS section of our website.