The first character: False teachers are menpleasers. They preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa 30:10). “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer 5:30-31). They handle holy things with wit and dalliance(1) rather than with fear and reverence. False teachers are soul-undoers. They are like evil chirurgeons(2) that skin over the wound, but never heal it…False teachers are hell’s greatest enrichers…Such smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners (Jer 23:16-17).
The second character: False teachers are notable in casting dirt, scorn, and reproach upon the persons, names, and credits of Christ’s most faithful ambassadors. Thus, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram charged Moses and Aaron that they took too much upon them, seeing all the congregation was holy (Num 16:3). “You take too much state, too much power, too much honor, too much holiness upon you; for what are you more than others that you take so much upon you?” And so Ahab’s false prophets fell foul on good Micaiah, paying of him with blows for want of better reasons (1Ki 22:10-26). Yea, Paul, that great Apostle of the Gentiles, had his ministry undermined and his reputation blasted by false teachers: “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (2Co 10:10). They rather contemn him than admire him. They look upon him as a dunce rather than a doctor. And the same hard measure had our Lord Jesus from the Scribes and Pharisees, who labored as for life to build their own credit upon the ruins of His reputation. And never did the devil drive a more full trade this way than he does in these days (Mat 27:63). Oh! The dirt, the filth, the scorn that is thrown upon those of whom the world is not worthy… Continue reading