(By Shane Idleman) As believers, we are to discern truth from error, light from darkness and right from wrong, but how? Jeremiah 23:17 offers one answer, “They still say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”‘; and they say to everyone who walks after the imagination of his own heart, ‘No evil will come upon you.'” False teachers often don’t warn, confront or convict. They offer comfortable messages and a false sense of peace, or they encourage very odd behavior. Many mislead with rules and regulations as found in 1 Timothy 4:2-3—”speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 that “false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Deception comes in many forms but centers on false hope or legalism. Not all leaders in experience-oriented movements are false and misleading. Many are sincere and open to the work of the Holy Spirit, but when they “toke the Holy Ghost,” kick people in the stomach for healing and act very bizarre, it should raise a huge red flag. READ MORE