Do they say what’s really so, or do they deceive people with half truths? Cults, cultic groups, off the wall religions, and false teachers are on the rise and we need to discern.

13 min readJan 10


God alone sees their hearts, thoughts and motives. We can certainly evaluate their message.

Judge not lest you be judged the original language basically means cast, we’re not to cast the final judgment. So how can we judge with righteous judgment as the Bible tells us to do?

Is it possible to teach or preach and not really be a true believer, or to even do miracles and not necessarily be saved? Yep, absolutely!

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’” Matthew 7:21–22

He said, “MANY will come in that day”. These words remind us there will be an abundance of false miracles, lying wonders, and false teachers in the last days. We need to be ready. MANY will say they have been doing miracles. Did they really? Many will say they have been casting out demons.. allegedly. Casting out, miracles.. these could happen, even have happened. But Jesus will sadly say to many, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:23 #emphasis mine

Why become a false teacher when you could simply say what’s so? The worst thing imaginable is to spread wickedness under the veneer of a true godly faith. Tragically, some people choose to do this, even inside of some so called local churches today.

Don’t you wish that believers could always spot these false teachers easily? I do, but Jude points out that they slip on in among us (see Jude 4). That is the whole idea is this — our enemy, Satan, is a deceiver. It’s who he is and what he never ceases to perfect. He’s the father of lies. And that’s is why on more than one occasion, the Bible compares him to a snake. He whispers.. “What?.. what I’m ssssssaying is true” when perhaps only part of it is. Please never be snake-like, or even imitate that which is evil.

False teachers with their weird motives creep into some churches.. ssssecretly. And their numbers have sadly grown in these last days as they are preying on more unsuspecting believers. Please, PLEASE beware of false teachers and others who twist what’s so, especially if they say they have a new revelatory message that you won’t hear anywhere else.

You and I can indeed have fresh illumination on old Scriptural truth or perhaps a new way to go apply truth in reaching souls during these changing times, but the old Message of the Bible is God’s revelation to man. Again, opt not to be some gullible fool, but to live like a Berean!

If it’s new it ain’t true, and if it’s true, it ain’t new.

“Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16 nkjv

You know how the wheat grows up with the tares. Jesus explained all this for us (tares, a plant springing up from the Darnel seed — see Matthew 13:25). They grow until they each are addressed by God later on.

Believer, if we were once swayed by another, or gaslit (religiously or otherwise..) and then deceived by half-trues and or full lies, let’s purpose now never to become duped again.

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures” (Titus 3:3).

After salvation, real born again Christians may stray from what’s really true for a time (hopefully not a long time), but the Bible makes it clear that the elect of God (real born again. believers) cannot be deceived to the extent of being finally lost.

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“Discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.

See first Thessalonians 5:21–22 which teaches us that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required.

The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one’s ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living-a certain recipe for compromise.

Unfortunately, discernment is an area where most Christians stumble. They exhibit little ability to measure the things they are taught against the infallible standard of God’s Word, and they unwittingly engage in all kinds of unbiblical decision-making and behavior. In short, they are not armed to take a decidedly biblical stand against the onslaught of unbiblical thinking and attitudes that face them throughout their day.

Discernment intersects the Christian life at every point. And God’s Word provides us with the needed discernment about every issue of life. According to Peter, God ‘has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence’ (2 Peter 1:3). You see, it is through the ‘true knowledge of Him,’ that we have been given everything we need to live a Christian life in this fallen world. And how else do we have true knowledge of God but through the pages of His Word, the Bible? In fact, Peter goes on to say that such knowledge comes through God’s granting ‘to us His precious and magnificent promises’ (2 Peter 1:4). Discernment is very important.” ~ John MacArthur

Listen beloved, when we carefully do what the Bereans did back in the day (read the book of Acts), in testing what we hear to make sure it’s all true .. “factual, right, 100%”.. yes, to make sure it totally squares with the Scriptures, then this will enable us to better worship and pray.. to better win lost sinners, and to better minister to saved sinners.

via Unsplash

What we allow ourselves to hear and then grasp hold of (I mean really believe inside) will eventually affect our attitudes and behavior for good or for bad.

Deceived people often deceive others. For different reason some do that knowing what they’re sayin’ is partially or fully false. Can Christians and Christian leaders even.. be swayed, gaslit, or deceived for a time (Matt. 24:24)? Tragically, harmfully, historically it’s happened a whole lot before. Dig in and check out church history — you know I’m right on this. Believer, one day you can ask Dietrich Bonhoeffer regarding the ’40s in Europe.

We’ve each got a calling! Let’s all do what we can early so that no one gets or stays deceived.

Where do you get your news and other info? Sadly many Americans have long been gaslit and duped in different arenas of life. (Approximately 98% of our news networks are now fake news culpable in the realm of politics. Duh!) Many people have even been self-deceived. It can happen if you let it. Man, why continue to allow that? I respectfully challenge you to become like a Berean and really learn what’s true. Check out what’s said. Know the real facts in different areas.

Real facts are your friends, Sport. So why in 2023 does God even allow deception on earth?

What does it mean that you will know them by their fruit in Matthew 7:16?

Do Westerners like to be lied to? What does the Bible say about self-deception?

Driven by our desires, we are experts at self-deception. We will do whatever it takes to satisfy our urges, and then justify it by believing blatant lies.” ~ Erwin Lutzer

Why does God allow deception? Why doesn’t He stop deceit in the world, in the workplace, and in churches? Why doesn’t He make cults and cultic groups cease? If God wants people to be saved, and He really does, then why does He allow people to become influenced by lies?

Trust is built long and slow - it can be lost in one moment. Honest integrity and godly character matter!

"The naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie." ~ Ann Landers

Got some questions about cults and world religions?

What is the best way to evangelize someone who is in a cult or false religion?

How can I help someone to leave a toxic cult or group?

How should Christians view the Book of Mormon?

Who were the Bereans in the Bible?

Is “name it claim it” teaching biblical?

What were the mystery religions?

There are many sound Baptist churches (I attend one in Plano), but what is Westboro Baptist Church?

What is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society? How are the Jehovah’s Witnessess related to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society?

How is the Islamic idea of jihad different from the violence in the Bible?

Pray that God will speak to their heart if they are in danger. What is the difference between a sect and a cult?

“Are you a Mormon. Why should you consider becoming a real Bible believing born again Christian?

Are we living in the end times?

What is the definition of a cult?

“Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:10

If we pray for our dishonest enemies, then we’ll choose to forgive in our hearts. We can still wisely show love towards them. Some might need to be reproved or rebuked. Tell the truth, Christian.

Listen believer, if you’re careful to maintain integrity with godly character, then God will be careful to address any reputation-trashin’-lies spoken of you. Walk in the Word regardless of what others think and do!

Have Christ’s restoration-compassion with holy fear — yes, without being influenced off into left field, into error, or being pulled down morally. Backsliding spiritually is very overrated! Gently, respectfully witness to open-minded cultists without being wooed away into their perverse weirdness.

“‘If it feels good, it must be right. After all, I am entitled to my happiness.’ With lies like these, we rationalize our disobedience to God’s commands.. Take an honest look at lies about our desires. Our souls can be restored, but the lies must be stripped away. Are we ready to hear God’s truth about our deepest longings?” ~ Erwin Lutzer

“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It’s knowing the difference between right and almost right.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Yep, biblical discernment is about intimately knowing the Lord in a personal way.. first off. It’s about what to test or verify, what to hold on to (the true and the good), what to fully believe with strong convictions, and it’s about what to wisely do or not to do.

What does it mean to be steadfast and immovable? Regarding the truth, what does 1 Corinthians 15:58 mean?

Thanks for Your example. Lord, do bless our nation and churches with strong, humble, discerning leaders who will be honest, will love and fear You.. who will be wise like King Solomon who prayed — “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern Your people well and know the difference between right and wrong.” 1 Kings 3:9

“Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” Psalm 119:89

Think about it, God’s word is all true ..and forever is a really long time. Got some time to memorize a few more verses?

1 John 4:1 — Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (See whole context, esv verses)

Ephesians 5:6 — Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Romans 16:17–18 — I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Jude 4 — For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men..

Colossians 2:8 — See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

2 Timothy 3:13 — While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

1 Corinthians 6:9–10 — Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 12:9 — And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

2 Thessalonians 2:10–11 — And with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false..

Galatians 6:7 — Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

2 Corinthians 11:13–15 — For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Galatians 6:7–9 — Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

1 Timothy 4:1 — Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

2 Thessalonians 2:3 — Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction..

Romans 16:18 — For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

1 Timothy 2:14 — And Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

2 Corinthians 11:3 — But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

1 John 1:8 — If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

James 1:22 — But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Jeremiah 17:9 — The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

James 1:26 — If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

1 Corinthians 3:18 — Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

Genesis 3:13 — Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Galatians 6:3 — For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

1 Corinthians 15:33 — Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Deuteronomy 11:16 — Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them;

John 16:13 — When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Obadiah 1:3 — The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”

Revelation 13:14 — And by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

Revelation 20:10 — And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Job 15:31 — Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself, for emptiness will be his payment.

1 Peter 2:1 — So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

1 Peter 3:10 — For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;

Revelation 19:20 — And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

Isaiah 53:9 — And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

You can have an assurance inside. You can know deep in your knower, and confidently follow the Lord today! Our wonderful Savior Jesus always set a good Example for us — zero deceit has ever been in His heart, mind, or mouth. Let’s not put it off and follow Him!

Q: How was it possible for the first-century church to experience an ongoing ministry with the reviving spiritual depth they had? Without committees, fundraisers, or social media these discerning new believers advanced God’s kingdom with only one method:

Simple faith in the Word (with each maintaining their close vertical relationship of worship).. that wisely led them to uncompromisingly live it out horizontally. #StayHonest #UpwardInwardAndOutward




Travel on Purpose close or far — awake n awakening! Impact those in your world with the Gospel by simply knowing Christ well n biblically making Him well known!