Summary: How do you identify a false teacher?

Text: Matthew 7:15-23

Subject: False Teachers

Theme: Identifying false teachers

Prop: We cannot identify false teachers by sight, be we must examine their fruit.

T.S. Today we will study the instructions that Jesus gives us to be able to identify false teaches.


Society and their trouble with absolutes. Truth is what ever you interpret it to be. It is different for different people.

Back to Pilate, “What is truth?”

Shirley Maclaine, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam, Jim Jones, David Koresh. Many died thinking that they were serving God!

There are many in the Church who preach a message that is contrary to the Word.

Jesus warned in Matthew 24:24, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect”. We must be able to detect those false teachers and prophets.

T.S. Today we will study the instructions that Jesus gives us to be able to identify false teaches.




A. Wolf in a sheep suit. In order to recognize false prophets, we must understand that we cannot just look at the external, or we may be deceived.

1. Jim Jones was a good example. Mel White in his book entitled “Deceived”, says the following concerning cult leader Jim Jones.

He knew how to inspire hope. He was committed to people in need; he counseled prisoners and juvenile delinquents. He started a job placement center, he opened rest homes and homes for the retarded: he had a health clinic; he organized a vocational training center, he provided free legal aid; he founded a community center; he preached about God. He even claimed to caste out demons, do miracles and heal.

2. There were countless church leaders, politicians including the President of the United States who praised Jim Jones for his work.

3. David Koresh, the Mormon Church.

4. 2 CORINTHIANS 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

B. How do these wolves get into the sheep pen? They try to look like one of the sheep.

1. The Mormons say that they have another testament of Jesus, but in truth, they deny that He is God! This contradicts the Bible.

a. 1 JOHN 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

b. READ 1 JOHN 4:1-3

c. 1 JOHN 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

d. 1 JOHN 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

"I can stand in front of the Lord and say I gave it my best shot," failed-prophet Edgar Whisenant said after Sept. 1, 1989, came and went without any evidence of a rapture. After running up a 0-for-2 record in rapture predicting, the retired NASA engineer who lives in a one- room shack outside Little Rock, Arkansas, says his job is now done. His book predicting this year’s rapture sold only 30,000 copies in contrast to his book predicting the rapture last September, which sold 4.3 million.

How could so many believers fall for this age old problem of date setting that Jesus clearly warned about in Matthew 24:36?


A. We must look at the character of the fruit.

1. 2 PETER 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Their teachings will destroy the gospel.

2. JAMES 3:11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water.

3. Who is glorified by the fruit?

B. The Good Tree, Bad Tree. Verses 17-18. Figs come from fig trees, not thistles.

1. If I walked into an orchard, and did not know what kind of trees were in the orchard, I would be able to tell when the trees bore fruit. An apple tree would bear apples.

C. What kind of fruit will the good tree bear?

1. God is the one glorified by the fruit. JOHN 15:8 "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Explain

2. Our works will be selfless, they will reflect a servant attitude. We are not trying to bring glory on ourselves. COLOSSIANS 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

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