Two Major Characteristics of False Teachers are: 1) They're Very Secretive 2) Their Motive is Covetousness

Today we’re continuing our study on false teachers and show two major characteristics. Peter wrote:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies[1], even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (2 Peter 2:1-3).

Notice the characteristics of false teachers: everything they do they do secretly, and they do for covetousness sake. They obviously know something is wrong with their teaching because they’re so enclosed about it[2]

I knew a brother in Christ several years ago. He got ahold of some distorted teaching out in California which taught heresy. He left for two years to be under this so-called teacher. When he came back his mind was so twisted there was nothing anyone could do to bring him back to sound doctrine[3].

One of the first things he did when he got back was started having cell groups[4] in his house. He raised himself up[5] as a teacher of righteousness, and he had “secrets” of the things of God no one else knew. This is a big red flag with these people. They always have information about the Kingdom nobody else has[6].

He only drew about 10 people to himself[7]. Because of this you’d think that this would signal to a person that God’s not in it. I mean, everything our Heavenly Father does He has great success. One of the marks of a man or woman of God flowing in their anointing is the success they have[8]. But false teachers don’t see it like that. They see it as fulfillment of Scriptures like Matthew 7:14.

He wanted to buy a house and move everyone in it. Not only is this for that he may teach secretly his doctrine, but also control. False teachers want to control who you’re influenced by and your relationships. Jim Jones, a false apostle (Revelation 2:2), went so far he moved his followers to a completely different nation! The Beloved John wrote, “All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed” (John 3:20, NLT). 

Covetousness is at the Center of False Teachers

Another characteristic is covetousness. Jesus said 

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep (John 10:11-13). 

False teachers desire that which only benefits them. They actually believe you should make sacrifices on their behalf[9], and they have no problem taking from you. Their greed and desire for the things of this world (1 John 2:15), come first. In their mind, you are expendable, and easily replaceable[10].  

The brother I had mentioned earlier, what done him in was his covetousness. He told his small group that God wanted them to sign all property over to him; all bank accounts, real estate, mortgages, everything. Once he said that everyone stopped going to his little church. Last time I saw him he was living in rags.

[1]The word heresies here does not simply mean false teaching, but rather “act of taking, capture: e.g. storming a city”. James said, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (3:16).

[2]Jesus said people don’t come into the Light for fear their deeds will be exposed.

[3]Sound doctrine is always synonymous with the “apostles' doctrine” (Acts 2:42).

[4]Cell groups aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but they should always be in agreement with your pastor.

[5]Something’s wrong when you have to raise yourself up. John the Baptist and Jesus both waited on the timing of the Spirit.

[6]There are a handful of people I watch closely, including Kenneth Copeland. If there’s a secret in the Kingdom he doesn’t know about, I don’t wanna know about it. because it’s not of God. It’s the Spirit of Wisdom.

[7] Having such a small group is actually a poverty mindset.  

[8]As Edwin Louis Cole once said, “Success is not the aim of the cross. It’s the result of the cross.”

[9]Jesus doesn’t require us to make sacrifices for His benefit. He’s the Great Shepherd, the Lamb of God. The only sacrifice Father requires. We may make sacrifices from time-to-time, either of our own accord, or by being led of the Spirit. The difference is false teachers demand this of their followers.

[10]In the heart of God no one is replaceable. Remember, the shepherd leaves the 99 for the one that wondered off (Mat 18:12).


Who He is, and How he Operates


Unmasking Who He is

False Prophets

Eleven Characteristics

False Teachers

Two Characteristics Of