In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus Christ warned His disciples of the presence of false teachers (preachers). By extension, the body of Christ is also warned of their existence, and the dangers they pose to God's people. My next three blogs will be devoted to analyzing the three truths Jesus taught in this passage regarding false teachers. These are: (1) the presence of false teachers (v.15a), (2) the danger posed by false teachers (v.15b), and (3) the practical test that detects false teachers (vv.16-20).
The Presence of False Teachers (v.15a, "Beware of false prophets"). Jesus Christ states emphatically that false teachers do in fact exist. The word "beware" is from a Greek word meaning "to turn one's mind or attention to a thing by being on guard against it." Jesus tells all Christians that they need to take heed, be on guard, pay close attention to the fact that false teachers exist. I personally believe the existence of false teachers today is due to two things. First, from spiritually impoverished churches that resist and reject the truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Second, from a group of malicious spirits called demons (1 Timothy 4:1). Whatever the source, the fact remains, false teachers exist and we as believers in Christ must be aware of their presence in churches, on television, in magazines, in religious literature, on the web, and on the radio. We must never get to the point where we believe any and everything we hear. To do so opens the door for "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."