By Elizabeth Prata
A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy. (Proverbs 29:1).
Gill’s Exposition explains the intriguing part about broken beyond remedy:
shall suddenly be destroyed; or “broken” (e); as a potter’s vessel is broken to pieces with an iron rod, and can never he put together again; so such persons shall be punished with everlasting destruction, which shall come upon them suddenly, when they are crying Peace to themselves notwithstanding the reproofs of God and men;
I understand that when Christians are developing and practicing discernment, it’s sometimes difficult to detect a false teacher, especially in the early days of the false teacher’s ministry or the early days of the Christian. Other people, though they suspect, find it hard to admit that their favorite teacher is false. “But they teach about Jesus!” they say. I know, it’s interesting to listen to some of the more crafty (Genesis 3:1) teachers who have such eloquence of tongue and then believe they are insincere. But remember that the antichrist is prophesied to gain the world by a smooth tongue and flattery. (Daniel 11:21). These present mini-antichrists (1 John 2:22) are almost as smooth as the prophesied Antichrist will be in the future, so it is no wonder that they are so slick in their speeches.
The main way to detect a false teacher of course is to compare what they say to the Bible (Acts 17:11).
Here is another way to detect a false teacher: how they react when they are corrected or challenged. Doctrine is utmost, but behavior is important. How does the true or the false teacher respond when posed a question, challenged in their interpretation, or rebuked for their teaching?
It’s the behavior when corrected that also proves the true vs false teacher. The god-honoring teacher cares about His word as primary importance. How crushing it is when we say or teach something in error or contrary to proper exposition! We hasten to correct, humbling ourselves to Him and the truth of His word.
Justin Peters is a true teacher but is often challenged and rebuked by some who are less discerning. He responds in charity and gentleness, with a teachable spirit when warranted. At the most, if a person challenging him is not teachable, he will ignore the words of that chattering crow and go his way, sharing the Gospel and ministering in truth.
The false teacher who rebels when teaching the word will continue to rebel when corrected in the word. As the Proverb says, he will harden his neck. Stiff necked is a synonym for stubborn. Instead of being teachable and gentle, the false teacher will entrench him or herself into stubbornness and double down on their position. This is because they are full of pride, and care not for the truth of God’s word. They SAY they care, but their behavior SHOWS they do not.
The second half of the Proverb is encouraging. I know it’s all the rage to claim love and kindness to and for false teachers, but I do not. If a teacher has abused the name of Christ, twisted His words, and persistently shown that they care only for themselves, money and fame, harming His sheep in the process, the second half of the Proverb is rallying to my soul. It motivates me to leave the judgment of this scourge of fiery ants to the Lord, and to take comfort in His timing. They WILL be broken beyond remedy. Good.
John Mason on Twitter said, (@LivingGodsTruth)
It would appear that the most popular names and teachers in Christian markets are either:
1. Conforming to the pressures of LGBTQ acceptance over the Word of God.
2. Not preaching sin at all & a promoting a false prosperity centered Christianity.
This is God ordained exposure.
I agree, and in my opinion these are examples of the Proverb. When challenged over these issues the false teachers stiffen themselves, they entrench into their stubbornness. This is a God-ordained exposure. Let us not ignore these exposures seen through their behavior, but heed the wisdom in Proverbs.
It’s OK to take comfort in the knowledge of the coming permanent and irreversible destruction of these wolves. It means that the name of Jesus will eternally remain spotless with no dung thrown on Him or on His people, ever again. What a day that will be!