Today's 'church' scene is overflowing with men and women of great intellectual prowess, with many held in high regard by their fellows. Many have multiple educational degrees from well respected institutions and do not hesitate to make known their worth to the 'church.' They conclave with each other on various venues, always finding something good to say about each other. We have been treated to their books, recordings, and pulpit teaching for years. They claim that the Holy Spirit is their guide and teacher, revealing to them the secrets of the Gospel and the Word of God so that they may pass this new found revelation along to their own disciples. They tell us the virtues of God, limited mainly to His love, and encourage their followers to strive for "unity" in the 'church.' And on the list could go.
The New Testament is filled with warnings about false prophets, savage wolves, false brethren, and so on, but it seems that few really avail themselves of these warnings. They have their favorite preacher, the one who can speak no wrong, and they will defend such people to their own detriment. Matt. 23:15, Jesus warns us what happens to a man who is taught by his fellow apostates, he becomes two-fold more a child of hell than was his teacher. Acts 20:28-30 Paul warns of men who rise up from within the ranks of the "brethren" who speak perverse things. Somehow, these warnings have been deemed unimportant, not to be heeded, for 'first century Christians only' and certainly not applicable to today's highly enlightened 'church.' Yet the wickedness of these men and women is on display for those who have eyes to see. And there's the rub, no one wants to even consider the possibility that their favorite preacher could fall into the category of "false teacher."
Worse yet, this unwillingness to investigate is a sign of a much greater problem that generates from a deceived heart that needs help. One of the infinite benefits of regeneration (being born again) is a new found love for the Word of God. At first, it may seem strange that you are now so intensely drawn to His Word, strange that is to the old nature that still lingers within, but a most welcomed desire as the hunger and thirst for His Righteousness (Matt. 5:6) fills a newly recreated heart (2 Cor. 5:17) . What a blessing it is to be filled and still hunger for more. The more the Word is ingested, the more the Lord is revealed to us and as His light shines within our heart and mind it also exposes the errors taught by wicked men. Now it's time to unlearn, to discard the errors we have believed for too long. Sometimes it's easy and instantaneous (how could I have ever believed that?) and sometimes it takes a while, even a long 'while.' But it's the heart that is open to the constant inspection of the Holy Spirit that will lay down the error and the affinity to it's teacher. Expect this to be a life-long process and one that should provoke great encouragement, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit in you that does this---John 15:26 & 16:13-15. Aren't you glad that He resides within you?