A Christian is to be on the watch out for false prophets and teacher, He is to be alert, otherwise, he will be deceived. A Christian should not be presumptuous about false teachers. The reason why a Christian must always watch out for false teachers is that a false teacher will never presents himself as one. “He comes in sheep clothing but inwardly, he is a ferocious wolf.”
In their deceptive schemes they will pretend to be true teachers. They could even perform miracles and display all sort of virtues of a true Christian teacher momentarily in order to deceive. Due to this deceptive nature of false teachers, Christians have the responsibility to guard against the activities of false teachers.
The fundamental way to know a false teacher is through his life style and character. Jesus says:
by their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit (vs 7:16-18 NIV).
What one teaches is not enough to qualify him a true teacher of the Word of God. Eloquence or good skills of communication does not also determine a true teacher of the Scripture. A false teacher with good communication skills at some point can teach sound biblical doctrine. The emphasis of Jesus in the text above is character. Character is what actually differentiate a true teacher from a false teacher. What one teaches must be from live application. Therefore, a false teacher is not only someone who teaches what is wrong but someone whose life is also oppose to what he teaches.
A true teacher of the gospel does not only teach from the intellectual knowledge of the Word but from the practical life of the Word i.e. from the live experience of the Word. For a teachers conduct to contradict what he teaches simply means he teaches what he is not and that makes him nothing less than a hypocritical teacher.
If there is one thing the contemporary church has fail woefully to do, this is it! If there is one thing that has mostly led to the fall of evangelicalism, it cannot be more than this! And if there is something the church need to do to revive, I suppose it must be this!
The church like the New Testament Church (Apostolic Church) must once again call sin a sin and sinners must be seen as sinners and be treated as sinners in the church. Until this is done, the church will continue to languish in the hands of false teachers who parade our altars as “men and servants of God.” Men who know no God and care not for His church but rather use the church to achieve their selfish goals.