False Teachers and Motives

There seems to be some confusion about who is a false teacher. Some think all false teachers have bad motives and intend to deceive. This is not necessarily true – some are sincerely deceived!

This led to the following question. 🙂

Is one who teaches error with sincere motives a false teacher? False prophet?

  • Some people accept the error because they think the teacher’s motives are sincere => the teacher has gained their trust.
  • Some false teachers/ prophets introduce error with the intention to deceive – bad motives.
  • Some however are deceived themselves and do have sincere motives


You can not judge error based on the teacher, the vessel delivering the error, no matter how sincere, good, trustworthy they appear.
2Co 11:13-15

Motive – to deceive:
2 Peter 2:1-3 NASB … 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. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

Sincere Motive but deceived into thinking they are doing the Lord’s will:
Matthew 7:21-23 NASB …  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Look at 2 Peter 2:1-3 again
It’s by false words that the heresy is introduced=> we should be judging the words/teaching not the motives …
=> the rest of Matthew 7 implies the same, judge the words

Also note Matthew 7 above
=> we can not judge words/teaching by the presence of signs & wonders!

Paul a true teacher encouraged people to examine/search SCRIPTURE for themselves to see if what he taught was truth. This is the mark of a true teacher. Judge the words/teaching by SCRIPTURE.
Acts 17:11 NASB … Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
A false teacher when asked about his teaching will often respond with some of the negative traits in 2 Peter 2(greed. pride, false authority …). They will not take the time to examine/ search the scripture and instead  intimidate others from doing so.
A false teacher who is deceived(not intentionally trying to deceive)  may be turned and corrected by this process of searching/examining scripture(and prayer). 
You may also have misunderstood the teaching and be corrected in this process.
Which is why if we think something that is taught or prophesied is an error we should not just ignore it or ‘agree to disagree’.
Contend for the faith – because some can be “snatched from the fire”.
Jude 1:3-4 NASB …  Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jude 1:23 AMPC … [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

2 Timothy 3:13, 16-17 AMPC … But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves. …
… 16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.


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2 Responses to “False Teachers and Motives”

  1. Discerning Truth from Error | Touching the King! Says:

    […] False Teachers and Motives{question 1} Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit{question […]

  2. Contending for the Faith not Doctrine?? | Touching the King! Says:

    […] False Teachers and Motives{question 1} Prophets claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit{question 2} Discerning Truth from […]

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