Remove Infiltrators (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:33–34, KJV)

In World War II, one of the things the German forces did was to send German soldiers dressed up in American Army uniforms into the Allied Forces. Basically, they were impostors sent there to disrupt the efforts of the Allied Forces. This was a form of espionage. Today, espionage is often used between nations, companies, and people attempting to push an agenda. It works as people masquerade as someone they are not. Often this works in disinformation campaigns in an effort to sway people in a different direction.

Deception is not a new tactic. It is one that our adversary, the devil has used from the beginning. It was this tactic that he used, disguised as a serpent, to trick Eve and Adam into disobeying God (Gen 3:1-7; 2 Cor 11:3). Jesus made this point when speaking to a group of those claiming Abraham as their father.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44, KJV)

The problem that Paul presented here to the Corinthians was that those who came among them saying there was not resurrection were deceivers. All who present false teaching are doing the bidding of their father, the devil. They are deceiving those with listening ears and leading them on a pathway to destruction. Paul warns the church to avoid such teachers.

In my time of ministry, I have seen these evil influencers enter churches. They come in as wolves in sheep’s clothing, professing to be the bringers of truth. However, what they do is create division through their divisive and deceptive doctrine. Paul wrote of these people that they have no “knowledge of God.” These are ignorant pawns of Satan.

There are only two things to do with these false teachers. First, they may just be ignorant of the truth and puffed up. In this case, they may, (and note that I said may), be open to hearing and responding to the truth. However, since they are wolves in lambskins, I would be very cautious and keep an eye on them.

Second, those who teach that which is false must be avoided. Paul wrote, “evil communications corrupt good manners.” False teaching in the church is like an infectious disease. It will infect others in the congregation. Leaders of churches must watch over the flock for the ravenous wolves and remove them from the church. Parishioners must know the truth well enough to discern the teaching they receive. They must examine their teachings from the Scriptures. The Bereans did so and were commended for this. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11, KJV)

I have personally experienced this in churches. In one case a man professing to be a mature Christian was propagating a false teaching behind my back. When I discovered it, I attempted to educate him. He acquiesced to my teaching and agreed to stop teaching the false doctrine. However, a short time later, he went back to leading others astray. At that stage, we had no other option than to remove him from fellowship. Do not allow false teaching to lead you or others on the path of unrighteousness.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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