There are many people who desire to be teachers, but they don’t want to put in the work required to understand and explain God’s word accurately. As Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:7“ desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” They don’t understand what they are talking about. But they declare it with such authority that people believe it. The true test of one’s teaching is this: does it accord with Scripture? That is the touchstone of truth.
Some time ago I received an email inviting me to attend an online course with a local School of Prophecy so that I could get a certification in prophecy.
The subjects to be covered include: receiving and delivering prophetic words, steps towards knowing the voice of God, prophetic dance, and an “impartation,” which I assume is where the prophet imparts the gift to you. They promised that a certificate would be issued on completion of the full course, which was not at all inexpensive.
The website (yes, I couldn’t resist checking out the website), went on to advertize various courses on how to prophesy. Here is a snippet of one of the prophecies:
I am coming to touch my house once again. I am calling my bride for a face-lift. I am the Lord that heals you and I the Lord am coming again to touch you by My Spirit and cause you to have a facelift. The operation that I am about to perform on you my bride WILL TRANSFORM YOU SO MUCH into my image likeness that many around you will not recognize you for the change that has taken place…Some of you will say, that is not the Lord and the Lord does not work in that fashion. But, I the Lord say to you that many will suffer tension in the neck while others will suffer from whiplash and others will die from a broken neck. There are those who will frown on what I am about to do…”
It would be funny if it wasn’t so abominable to God when false teachers claim to speak for him and to teach others to do the same…for cash.
Prophets for Profit
Is it a scam? Does he know that neither he nor his students are prophets? Does he know that only God, not an online company, can call and gift a person? Does he know that God doesn’t charge a price for spiritual gifts? In short, how do we respond to this type of claim?
To find the answer let’s consider 1 Timothy 1:5-7.
Testing teachers of the Law…
1. Motive of Teachers
A. The Lawful motive of teachers:
1 Timothy 1:5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Not all teaching you hear outside your own church is false teaching and it is also worth remembering that no one teacher can be 100% correct, 100% of the time. But there is a difference between a teacher who is mistaken in one or two minor areas of their doctrine and a false teacher. False teachers twist the essential doctrines of the gospel, the deity of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, the means of salvation, the glory of the Father. False teachers distort the gospel—how we get to Heaven.
Paul has just urged Timothy to remain at Ephesus to charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.
Why? Vs 5 The aim of our charge is love…
Paul’s saying “I’m telling you this because I want your people to become more loving people, but different doctrines and distracting devotions do not make people more loving for the kingdom, it makes them more useless to the kingdom.”