DEV 18FN False Teaching

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Session 18: False Teaching

In this session, you will discover what the Bible has to say about False Teachers and Prophets, how we can identify them and what our response should be.

Heart of a Leader (40 min)

  • Worship together in the big group
  • Have participants get into groups of 3-4 people and discuss the following:
    • What are you learning and how are you abiding in Christ through word, prayer, obedience, PCS, relationships and fellowship?
  • What areas of your life is obeying God a challenge?
  • What unresolved conflict do you have?
    • What happened as you trusted God with your goals from our last meeting?

Vision Casting for the Heart

Read Romans 8:28-29. Life following Jesus is a journey with an intended end product. Experiences along the way will include joys and challenges, laughter and tears, blessing and suffering but Paul reminds us that our Good Heavenly Father has one overriding good end in mind for us. He is working in and through everything – good and bad things – to make us more and more like Jesus. Knowing this is His end goal for every follower encourages us to be thankful in all circumstances and to cooperate with Him. Walking in trusting dependence on the Holy Spirit we grow both in our character and life priorities to be more and more like Jesus. Jesus is always our example in life and in ministry. Jesus said “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40) This truth doesn’t answer the question of “why” things happen but it focusses us on the more important question of “Now what? What is the Father working toward in my life through this circumstance?” It is not “what” happens but rather how we respond to what happens to us that determines the end product in our lives – becoming conformed to Jesus!

Celebration of Faithfulness (20 min)

[NOTE: Celebrate Faithfulness in the large group so that all can benefit and be encouraged.]

  • Give opportunity for participants to share what has happened since the last meeting. Ask them to relate it to goals from the last meeting.

Iron on Iron: Sharpening Myself and Others (45 min)

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.”

  • Have everyone return to their Iron on Iron small groups, draw their network of missional communities and churches then share and evaluate with their group.
  1. What is going well?
  2. What is not going well? What obstacles are you facing?
  3. What are possible solutions from the other group members?
  4. What do you need to do to add the missing characteristics into each group?
  5. Where will you start a new group or church this month?
  • Have everyone set goals for improvement from their evaluation and share their goals with their small group. Then have them pray for one another.

New Lesson (45-60 min)

Relevant Topic: Why is it important and helpful if we know what has been revealed about how to identify false teachers and their teachings?

  • Have participants get into new groups of 4-5 people (or they can continue in their Iron on Iron groups)
  • In the following sections, each group assign verses to each participant. Each participant will then read the passages below and tell what they learned.

Discovery Bible Study – False Teaching

Section 1: False Prophets and Teachers

Danger of False Teaching: Acts 20:28-32

Promise of False Teaching: Matthew 24:11

False Teachers and Scripture: Revelation 22:18-19

Lessen Christ’s Character: John 10:31-28, John 18:19-24, 28-30

Different Gospel: Galatians 1:6-10

Character of False Teachers: 2 Peter 2:1-3, 10

  • After they have all shared their assigned verses, have each person in the groups share:
    • What caught your attention? (or What did you like best?) Why?
    • What do we learn about the appearing of new prophets?
    • How can you identify false teachers and prophets?

Summary: Jesus never predicted the coming of new prophets from God, but He did predict the coming of false prophets. False teachers and teaching add to or take away from scripture, lessen Christ’s character, and add requirements for salvation. An example of this is the Jewish teachers who taught that followers of Jesus must also be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15:1-2). Modern examples are Jehovah’s Witnesses, who teach that followers of Jesus must become members of their organization, Watchtower, and follow their rules in order to be saved. False teachers have ethics that are hypocritical, sensual and controlling.

Section 2: Dealing with False Teachers and Prophets

Our attitude: Jude 3-4

Those who are Deceived: Jude 22-23

Knowing Christ: Col 2:7-10

Our response: 1 John 4:1-6, 2 John 8-11

  • After they have all shared their assigned verses, have each person in the groups share:
    • What caught your attention? (or What did you like best?) Why?
    • What should we do when we encounter false teaching or false prophets?
    • How can we protect ourselves and those we are leading?

Summary: The New Testament gives a complete plan for dealing with false teachers and teaching. The plan is as follows: Be on your guard for false teachers, Warn false teachers with Scripture, Aspire to intimately know Christ and his Word, Rescue those who have been deceived by False Teachers/Teaching, and Examine every teaching.

Preparing for Mission (20 mins)

  • In small groups, have each participant Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in the area of dealing with False Teaching and Make a Plan on how they will improve:
    • Have you encountered false teaching? If so, how did you handle it?
    • What can we do to help the new believers in our groups and churches be prepared?
  • Write “I will by when” statements. Include “Who will you teach this lesson to?”
  • Practice any additional skill that the leaders need in leading their groups or starting new ones

Sending the Laborers

  • Reinforce the overall vision: a church or faith community for every 1,000 people
  • Spend time in prayer:
    • committing everyone’s goals to the Lord.
    • for God to raise up a movement of churches.
    • for more laborers to come out of the harvest.