From Grace Gems, below is this short piece from Thomas Brooks. Brooks was a British Puritan who lived from 1608 – 1680. If you’re interested in Brooks, here is Tim Challies with a short bio of Thomas Brooks.
I’m struck by the plethora of false teaching today that undermines and poisons the faith, but by the same token, the false teachers bringing it are tolerated and even lauded. “You don’t know their heart”, we are told. “They’re sincere, and some people benefit from their works,” we hear. “Don’t judge them, let them be, God will take care of them eventually” we’re advised.
If you had a herd of rats running around your living room, would you say, ‘Let them be, they’ll die eventually.’ I’m sorry for the graphic visual, but of course you wouldn’t say that. Your home is your retreat, your safety. Rats are dirty and bring disease into your home. They bite your baby. They contaminate and pollute your food. You would not tolerate them.
Now how does God feel about false teachers doing the same in His home?
No, false teachers are not to be tolerated. They are a plague and a poison to one and all they come into contact with. To the people who say and advise such things, If I pour this eyedropper of cyanide into your glass of water, and say, ‘Just sip it. The rest of the water is fresh and good. Drink around the cyanide’ would you say I’m ridiculous? Of course. False teaching is like cyanide in liquid. It poisons everything. As is written, a little leaven spoils the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:6).
Here is how the false teachers were viewed back in the day-
Hell’s greatest enrichers!
(From Brooks’ longer sermon, “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices“. In it, Brooks lays out 7 characteristics of false teachers).
“The prophets who lead my people astray.” Micah 3:5)
Satan labors by false teachers, who are his emissaries to deceive, delude, and forever undo the precious souls of men! They seduce them, and carry them out of the right way into by-paths and blind thickets of error and wickedness–where they are lost forever! As strumpets paint their faces, and deck and perfume their beds, the better to allure and deceive simple souls; so false teachers will put a great deal of paint and garnish upon their most dangerous principles and blasphemies, that they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant souls. They know sugared-poison goes down sweetly.
They wrap up their pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold! “Peace, peace! they say, when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14).
“Beware of false prophets, for they come to you in sheep’s clothing–but inwardly they are ravening wolves!” These lick and suck the blood of souls! These kiss and kill! They cry, ‘Peace, peace!’ until souls fall into everlasting flames! False teachers handle holy things with wit and trifling, rather than with fear and reverence. They are soul-murderers!
They are like evil surgeons, who skin over the wound–but never heal it. False teachers are hell’s greatest enrichers! Such smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners!
This age is full of such teachers–such monsters! They eye your goods more than your good; and mind more the serving of themselves–than the saving of your souls. So they may have your substance–they care not though Satan has your souls! That they may the better pick your purse–they will hold forth such principles as are very indulgent to the flesh. These are Satan’s great benefactors, and such as divine justice will hang up in hell as the greatest malefactors!
He was fervent, wasn’t he? I think his is the appropriate attitude. False teachers draw away God’s beloved. They poison His Gospel. They’re a rebellion and a blot against His holy name. They fail at their ambassadorship. They vaunt sin and present a stumbling block to the lost. They are a scourge.
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Avoid such people.