Taken Captive By False Teachers & False Doctrines – 10 signs

By Rick Becker    7 March 2019

We’re closer to the end. Some would have us believe the greatest revival the world has ever seen is upon us, but scripture teaches the opposite. There will be false anointed ones, a departure from the faith, apostasy, and doctrines of demons will deceive many within the visible church. Those within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) ignore what scripture teaches, they are hoping to be activated by a super apostle and be a part of a new breed of revivalist that will walk through walls, raise the dead, and conquer the seven spheres of society. These deluded folk have not been activated, but captivated by false teachers and false doctrines: “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.” Colossians 2:8
Under the guise of fresh revelation, anointings, impartations, new ways to hear God and walk in the supernatural, false teachers of the NAR come to steal, kill, and destroy. But it’s not just the NAR that is leading people into deception, there are other movements and denominations in the visible church that are responsible for seducing people into error. The health and wealth gospel, word of faith heresy, false philosophies, traditions, new age doctrines, and mysticism have captivated millions in the visible church. In this post I offer ten signs that will help identify those who have been captivated by false teachers and false doctrines.

1. The captivated have compromised truth through pragmatism.
Pragmatism evaluates success based on results. If for example a pastor wants to grow his small congregation, the fashionable route for him to take would be a “church growth” seminar or Willowcreek conference. This will give him the methodologies necessary to increase numbers. He will discover that it’s not too difficult to grow a church in this generation. Successful business models are utilized in the church because apparently pagan entrepreneurs know better than Jesus or the authors of scripture.
All the pastor has to do is water down the gospel, focus on topical and motivational messages, create expectation, and exchange biblical terms like sin, judgement and suffering for legacy, shift, presence, and prophetic etc. Dim the lights, and let the contemporary sounds of Bethel or Hillsong bypass the minds while bringing goosebumps to the enthralled congregation and voila! – “church growth.” This probably without one single convert, and certainly without any of the previous members who may be saved, growing in their faith. God has not given the “increase,” a pragmatic approach has, compromise has.
Experience and results should never define our theological persuasions. When we exchange truth with “what works” we have exchanged truth for a lie. Pragmatism causes truth to be relative, and when truth becomes relative, by definition it is no longer truth. When it’s no longer truth – it’s toxic. The fruits of pragmatism in the church are mega churches full of false converts and biblically illiterate believers carried about by every wind of doctrine.

2. The captivated serve a personality.

“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30.
I have had many conversations with people who have been deceived by a false teacher.  They usually avoid an invitation to compare the teachings of their idol (because that’s really what the false teacher has become) to scripture. Instead, they resort to their first line of defense –  “but do you know pastor X, have you met him/her ?”
Their faith is in a personality instead of the principles of God’s word. These false teachers have crafted an impressive persona. Like the super apostles Paul described in Corinthians, contemporary false teachers disguise themselves as “servants of righteousness.” They come across as individuals who know God intimately, and make sure everyone else is aware of their unique gifts and special relationship with God. Instead of hearing sermons that exegete the word of God, followers are subjected to countless stories and experiences – the pastor of course being the central figure.
In short, they commend themselves – the direct opposite of Paul taught: “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12. The captivated will drive thousands of miles to a stadium event (performance) to receive an “impartation” from their favourite personality, but that’s not all that drives them that far….

3. The captivated fall for false promises.

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:17-19
The captivated are desperate to alleviate the cares of this world, or increase their comforts in this world. Promises of breakthrough, healing, favour, pleasant “suddenlies,” transfers of wealth, supernatural encounters and miracles, entice those with itching ears or troubled souls. Like clouds without water false teachers fail to deliver. They promise their followers an encounter with God, but instead deliver an emotional experience or Kundalini spirit. They peddle their courses on how to hear the voice of God, but all you will hear is your own imagination or a deceiving spirit. The captivated believe they can decree things into existence, access heavenly portals, shift atmospheres, and perform greater miracles than Christ. They believe a Sozo course will bring inner healing, and that “pleading the blood of Jesus” will bring healing, protection, and deliverance. Year in and year out, like a hamster on a wheel, the captivated chase empty promises.  After months, or even years, the island of shipwrecked souls claims another citizen. Disappointed in “God” the “church,” and “Christians,” these shipwrecked souls placed their hope in false promises.

4. The captivated are easily persuaded

Paul was an apostle with a miraculous conversion, and by the time he reached Berea  had chased out an evil spirit from a slave girl, and experienced a real suddenly – unlike the fake suddenlies of the NAR: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26
Paul had some great stories to tell, but he did not rely on stories to convince his listeners, he explained the scriptures: Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.  And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,  explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” Acts 17: 1-3

After preaching in Thessalonica, Paul and Silas travelled to Berea and continued preaching in the synagogue. The Berean’s saw it fit to test the doctrine of the great apostle: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11.  This is what every believer should do, compare a teaching to the word of God regardless of who the teacher is. The Bereans were able to do this, because Paul reasoned “from the scriptures.” In other words they were able to go directly to the source. The only infallible source – scripture, is sadly the last place those who are easily persuaded by false teachers visit. They are persuaded by eloquence, stories, signs, and appearances   As a result the captives of these false doctrines grow in false knowledge and experiences without gaining any knowledge of Christ or truth. The false prophets and apostles in the New Apostolic Reformation have perfected the art of the deceivers Paul described in Colossians 2:18: “..going on in detail about visions..” (ESV)…  “intruding into those things which he hath not seen..” (KJV.)  The gobbledygook of NAR mystics, stories of healings and encounters with God by hipster evangelists, and words of knowledge from google assisted prophets are sufficient to dupe the easily persuaded.

5. The captivated chase after supernatural phenomena

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:23-24
Schools of “supernatural ministry” are flourishing around the globe. Like Simon the sorcerer, thousands of youngsters are offering money to receive power and supernatural gifts. So called “glory clouds” have mesmerized people, fooling them into believing that smoke and glitter are the manifest presence of God. Feathers, gold dust, gold fillings, oily palms, spasms as well as demonic manifestations are viewed as signs of “God touching someone.” Anyone who dares question the bizarre manifestations will be accused of having a “religious spirit.”
Superstars in the New Apostolic Reformation have built careers based on their “miracles.” Their exploits are caught on film as they roam public spaces looking for those suffering from what seems to be the greatest ailment on earth – one leg shorter than the other. A warning for those trusting in signs and wonders: “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?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7: 21-23.

God’s word is clear regarding the danger of signs and wonders in the last days: The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  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.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11

Captivated leaders teach that signs and wonders must always accompany any evangelistic endeavour.  They have this in common with the rich man in Hades (Luke 16)  – both believe something miraculous will convince the lost. The rich man reasoned with Abraham “but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent” Abraham’s answer – “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”  Those who teach that the gospel is not good news unless there is a demonstration of power are blinded to the fact that the power is not in signs and wonders, it’s in the gospel: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom1:16.
The gospel is sufficient and scripture is more sure than any modern day sign or wonder.

 6. The captivated are victims of peddlers.

“For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:17
“And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” 2 Peter 2:3
While tithing is NOT taught in the new testament (giving cheerfully, not under compulsion, and according to our ability IS taught) it’s become a tool in the hands of unscrupulous teachers, some of whom threaten that if you don’t give your tenth, the rest of your money will be cursed, and you give a foothold to demons. Teaching tithing has become a “get rich quick” scheme, and a great way for false teachers to accumulate wealth and maintain their empires (mega churches) It does not stop at tithing, there’s usually some sort of building fund, missionary fund, social justice cause, and other causes that members are asked to give towards. Another means of raking in the dollars are workshops, conferences, online courses and books. You are going to pay to learn how to: hear God’s voice, shift atmospheres, receive healing, walk in intimacy with God, experience supernatural powers. The captivated spend an awful amount of money in order to gain some sort of advantage or deeper knowledge, they are in a constant state of always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. The captivated and their money are easily parted as they pay for their never ending quest to hear and experience God.

7. The captivated who begin to ask questions are penalized.

You are never going to be in that inner circle, or part of the clique in “church” unless you prove yourself worthy. Under the guise of a “culture of honour” leaders are able to excuse their failures, avoid critique, promote their false doctrines, and maintain a firm grip on their ignorant followers. Once you invest time, and more importantly money, you will climb the food chain relatively fast. Display blind loyalty to the leader, salivate over their unfounded stories and visions, accept their teachings without question, and you will be rewarded. But if you dare to step out of line, you will discover that the “culture of honour” is an excuse to employ a “culture of shame” upon truth seekers. You may even think you are going mad or imagining things, and at first you will lay all the blame on yourself. This just shows how effective the brainwashing and manipulation has been. It’s a common story – those who are in the final stages of exiting a church that teaches false doctrines will tell you how they suddenly lost favour in the eyes of their leaders when they asked legitimate questions. They are asked to step down from positions, they are shamed, ostracized, patronized, and rumours are spread about them. This serves as a warning to potential mutineers by creating a fearful atmosphere.

8. The captivated become pharisaical.

Point 7 demonstrated this fact. Approach a false teacher or one of their followers in sincerity and humility with a scriptural rebuttal concerning their teachings or revelations, and you will probably experience a venomous response. Their first cry will be “don’t judge.” This verse is used out of context when defending false teachers. “Don’t judge” really means don’t judge hypocritically: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5. The same chapter instructs us to beware of false prophets and examine their fruits (7:15-20)  “Judge not” does not mean: never discern, never test all things, or ignore those who bring a different teaching! Those who use this verse to silence critics of false teachers or false teachings, are in fact judging someone for correct judgement. In other words, they are self-righteous and hypocrites – pharisaical. They will preach love and tolerance, but are unloving towards those who are trying to warn them that their souls are in grave danger. They will tolerate false teachers, doctrines of demons and demonic manifestations, but will turn their backs on family or lifelong friends who attempt to reason with them from the scriptures.
Another example of hypocrisy can be found in the area of healing. Bespectacled pastors will tell you the atonement guarantees healing, and that if you are not healed it can only be your fault. Their own healing rooms, Sozo courses and supernatural students cannot heal them. They go for surgery and rely on medication like the rest of us (that’s not to say God does not heal – he does, according to his will.) These teachers who cannot heal themselves or each other, charge for courses on healing. The fake healers who stretch legs in shopping malls will never be found filming a miracle in the ICU wards of hospitals. 

9. The captivated believe they can change this world into a paradise.

“As above so below” has become the mantra of New Apostolic Reformation proponents.
This occultic phrase is used in The Message bible (a perversion of scripture)
Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below.” – The Message
The correct translation: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.
So what does the phrase “Your kingdom come” really mean? False teachers would reason as follows – there is no poverty or disease in heaven, and therefore there should be no poverty and disease on earth. There is peace in heaven, so there should be peace on earth etc. False teachers will tell you the world is getting better all the time, and Christ is coming back once believers have reclaimed the seven spheres of society. The bible teaches the direct opposite ( 2 Timothy 3:1-9)
Jesus made it clear that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) it is not external or secular and it will certainly not transform this planet into paradise. When we pray “thy kingdom come” we are asking God to transform us, not the world, we are asking God to conquer the souls of men and women, not the seven spheres of society, and we are anticipating the coming kingdom when Christ will rule and reign on earth after he has brought judgement on the earth (2 Peter 3:7)
Until then, believers will go through many trials and tribulations, they will be mocked, not celebrated, persecuted not praised, and while God still heals some according to his will, many believers will have to endure sickness and disabilities. The captivated want to be settlers in this world, they are not sojourners looking forward to the day when Christ will come and rule, they want to be little gods and take dominion for themselves. They translate the word “kingdom” as dominion and comfort in this present age. They attempt to “set the world right” because their focus is on the temporal instead of the eternal.

10. The  captivated have been placated.

For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lordwho say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things,
prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 30:9-11
Not much has changed since the days of Isaiah, there’s a reason people follow contemporary false prophets – they want to hear “smooth things.”  This is why the captivated are so intent on defending their favourite false teacher. They are not just defending a personality, they are defending the message that has tickled their ears. They have bought into various lies – God guarantees wealth and health, they can walk in any supernatural gift they choose etc. They have not been taught the crucified life. They want dominion, power, favour and success. They have been placated by smooth operators, from the blatant health and wealth charlatans to the spiritual mystics who have exchanged sound teachings for nonsensical sayings and encounters with a divine agent.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

 

 

Seven Effects of False Teachings

By Rick Becker    4 October 2018

False teachings have serious consequences, not only for those who teach error, but also for their hearers.  The Apostle Paul took false teaching seriously:  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. Acts 20: 29-31.
If the apostle Paul were alive today he would have been accused of being a heresy hunter, judgemental, divisive, unloving, and would have been rejected by certain well known churches and teachers that are adored by millions.  Paul was however judging righteously when he warned of false teachers.  He was dividing correctly by making a distinction between truth and error, and he was loving in that he presented the truth in order to save those being tossed about by the various winds of doctrine.  It is these winds of doctrine that are systematically poisoning millions within the Evangelical Industrial Complex.  It may take some time for false teachings to have an effect, but when they do, they are destructive.  In this article we explore seven effects of false teachings.

 

1.  SENSUALITY that leads to destruction.

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

I don’t think I even need to list the church scandals of the past few decades. Pulpits have become a platform for predators of the worst kind. Sexual abuse, affairs, abuse of power and the lust for money in the visible church have made it difficult for unbelievers to make a distinction between the immorality of the world and what takes place in the church. This is how the way of truth is blasphemed.
The word that translates as “sensuality”  is ἀσελγείαις – which means lascivious, and is used in the majority of manuscripts as opposed to the word  ἀπωλείαις – meaning destructive or pernicious. The lasciviousness of these false teachers meant that they satisfied the lusts of their flesh, particularly sexual pleasures. I found Mark Dunagan’s commentary on these verses above helpful:

“The ethics and morality of such men have become a matter of private choice or personal opinion. The key words they use are ‘self-expression’, ‘fulfillment’, rather than purity and obedience. ‘If there is no longer a master to please, then there will only be ourselves to please; and if someone starts speaking a message that flatters people rather than calling them to repentance and faith, and that encourages them to enjoy their darkest and most secret wishes rather than hard discipleship and learning, it will not be surprising that many will follow. Such a message makes no demands other than the ones we want to make on ourselves”

These false teachers avoid the message of the cross and justify the lusts of the flesh.  They avoid messages on sin, God’s wrath, eternal judgement, and death to self. Their ear tickling messages will satisfy the souls who want to fulfil their dreams and appease their carnal appetites. They don’t preach tithing because they want you to prosper – they need your tithe to pay for their new building and opulent lifestyle. They won’t tell you that they got rich from exploiting biblically illiterate people due to their own greed; instead they will tell you that tithing worked for them. They justify their divorces by blaming their spouse, and within months marry that other woman from their own congregation. They are admired and revered as influential voices in the visible church while secretly abusing women in their own congregation. They teach on accountability yet they are accountable to no one. These are sensual and greedy people whose version of god is merely an expression of themselves. And here’s the effect – “many will follow their sensuality.”

2.  SELF is appeased.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”
2 Timothy 4:3

Those who sit under false teachings are not interested in death to self, but in elevating self. They want to satisfy their passions; they want to appease self. And so they listen to those teachers who commend themselves in this regard. These teachers boast of their exploits. Some have cameras following them as they perform their crafty “miracles” in public. Others will let their followers on twitter know all the details of their lives, from their pets names and activities to the latest colour nail varnish they are using. Their followers know more details of their idol’s lives than they do the gospels. One thing is for certain -they are going to let you know “the Lord” told them this or that. This gives credence to their teachings and revelations, and elevates them above the ordinary believer.

Not all of them are blatant motivational speakers and easy to discern as being a fraud.  Some of them talk of mysteries, deep revelations, and the desire to bring in billions of souls for Christ. It is these “apostles” and “prophets” in particular that are luring many into their web of deceit, simply because they come across as passionate, deep, and spiritual. Those who are prepared to “search the scriptures” and compare the teachings of these well known celebrity teachers will find that they twist and narcigete scripture. While it’s easy to identify those who are wallowing in the obvious lusts of the flesh, it is more difficult to spot subtle sins like spiritual pride. Spiritual pride captivates those who have been told that they are an amazing breed who will supersede the works of Christ. Many are swept up in movements such as the New Apostolic Reformation. Their ministry, their stories, their revelations, and their claims of how God has used them are simply a spiritual veneer over rotting flesh. The really tragic part is that many sincere and passionate people who want to do God’s will are deceived by this version of appeasing self.

A W Tozer warned of deception tailored to ensnare the passionate:

“Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness” – The Best of A. W. Tozer, compiled by Warren W. Wiersbe

False teachings are not Christ centered, and as a result the gospel becomes a story about what men and women can do, instead of what Christ has done. The gospel becomes a means to gain, instead of a cross that slays self. Many deceived by these man centered teachings imagine that the atonement guarantees perfect health, financial increase and superpowers. We would be wise to heed the words of Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

3.  SLAVERY instead of freedom.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.   Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.  You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”  Galatians 5: 1-6.

Paul is warning the Galatian believers not to fall for the false teachings of the Judaizers. These false teachers were persuasive, but their teachings were based on the law instead of grace. Unfortunately legalism did not end with the early church. Today there are movements and denominations that place a heavy and unnecessary burden on their followers.  Considered by many evangelicals to be a cult, The Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) have a legalistic approach towards dietary laws and keeping the Sabbath. A greater threat however, and possibly influenced by SDA is the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM).  I say greater threat in the sense that I know many folk who have become disillusioned with Charismania, or who have come out of the New Apostolic Reformation, and have somehow get entangled with the HRM.

In this article, Fisher, G. Richard writes the following:
“Many Christians don’t realize that there is a battle being waged between Jewish externals and rituals as a means of spirituality and sanctification and truly biblical means that are internal heart issues…It’s hard to define the HRM because it is so diverse and made up of so many disparate groups and individuals. It’s a moving target. It’s a vast smorgasbord of everything from scholarship, as in the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, to so-called Third Questers, to individuals practicing subjective pop (make-it-up-as-you-go) Judaism. It can even include the medieval mystical Kabbalah, with its esoteric numerology. More often than not there are no distinctions made between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant or between the Bible and the Talmud. This movement can impose legalism with a vengeance or in some instances may simply suggest Jewish practices that they say will give us deeper insight and understanding as well as make us more “authentic” believers.”

Some within the HRM claim to have superior insight and an authentic faith through engaging a Hebrew mindset, keeping certain feasts, using the real names of “G-d” such as Yeshua or YHWH. In reality, it’s just back to another form of slavery. Read about the Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement here. While types and shadows in scripture are beneficial, and serve a purpose, they do not make us one bit more spiritual or accelerate our conformity into the image of Christ.

 “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”  Col 2:16-17

4.  SHAKEN in mind concerning end times.

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 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.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-3

Somehow believers in Thessalonica had got the impression that the end of the world was near – a time of judgement on the earth and the second coming of Christ. How they got that impression is not clear, but Paul suggested three possibilities:
• by a spirit – prophetic word or revelation
• spoken word – teaching
• letter – they had possibly misinterpreted his first letter to them, or there were forged letters doing the rounds.

Whether they had misconstrued Paul’s teachings on the subject or been purposely misled by others, they had fallen for a false teaching and Paul’s warning to them is clear – “Let no one deceive you in any way.”
The result of the false teaching was that they were shaken in mind, meaning that they had lost sound reasoning due to their fear or agitation of what might shortly transpire. They were like a ship being tossed on the high seas. If there is one subject that troubles people, or can cause them to be shaken in the mind, it’s eschatology, and that’s the context of these verses. It’s a subject that still causes much consternation. Natural phenomena such as the blood moons, books such as The Harbinger by false prophet Jonathan Cahn, and the fear-mongering by Jim Bakker in an effort to sell his survival food buckets, have caused many to be shaken in their minds.
While I believe we are in the closing stages of time on earth, I also know that “.. concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”  Matthew 24:36
In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes concerning the day of the Lord and encourages the believers to : “be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9

We have no need to fear, or to be shaken in our minds regarding the end of the world – in fact the opposite is true:

 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 3:18-20

so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,  who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-8

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Titus 2:11-13

“and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  1 Thessalonians 1:10

An eschatology that causes you to fear, feel superior, or divide you from brothers and sisters in Christ needs to be revisited.

5.  STABILITY is lost.

“..just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”  2 Peter 3:15-17

Albert Barnes describes the “unstable” as follows: “And unstable – Who have no settled principles and views. The evil here adverted to is that which arises where those undertake to interpret the Bible who have no established principles. They regard nothing as settled. They have no landmarks set up to guide their inquiries.They have no stability in their character, and of course nothing can be regarded as settled in their methods of interpreting the Bible. They are under the control of feeling and emotion, and are liable to embrace one opinion to-day, and another directly opposite to-morrow.”

While the context of the passage from second Peter is about scoffers of the second coming, the methodology of the scoffers are applicable to all false teachers – they twist the scriptures. Many of the well known pastors, “apostles” and “prophets” that people flock after today are ignorant and unstable. They don’t know the basics of exegesis, and as a result are unable to rightly divide the word of truth. These are the men and women who concoct the various winds of teaching that sway the immature and cause them to be “carried away” into error. Despite all the conferences, courses and impartations on offer, followers of these ignorant and unstable teachers are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” They become unstable themselves, as they rely on “revelations” and teachings laced with error. They cannot mature in the faith, and are unable to explain what scripture actually teaches on different subjects.  Scripture is downplayed and new revelations, interpretations and experiences are elevated. The result is a fall from steadfastness

6.  SEPARATION from the body and head.

“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”  Acts 20:29-30

Those who distort the truth are often narcissists; they speak of themselves more than they do of Christ.  Instead of pointing their followers to Christ, they magnify themselves and their own teachings. They separate their followers from truth, and from true fellowship with other believers. Those of us who warn our friends and family of teachers who twist the truth are often accused of being divisive, but the real dividers are those who draw away disciples by twisting the truth – “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.”
Romans 16:17

It is the “humble” false teacher whose deep “spirituality” and “revelations” beguile many. To the biblically illiterate and naive, they seem to be on the cutting edge of what the “Spirit” is doing and saying, but they are speaking and operating from their flesh:

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Colossians 2:18 – 19

Many people who come out of Word of Faith, Prosperity and New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) churches can struggle to find a church where sound doctrine is taught. For a time, they may be isolated, which is not ideal but understandable in their situation. It’s common for them to be condemned by those who remain under the “covering” of NAR and other unsound churches. The fact is that those who have come out of those churches have done so because they are connected to the head, and covered by Christ, while the one’s deceived are in danger of being disconnected from the head (if connected at all) and are under a carnal covering.

7.  SHIPWRECK of their faith.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,  among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Paul is warning Timothy about false teachers in Ephesus. These false teachers had “swerved” from a good conscience and sincere faith, and were described as people who were “without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” 1 Timothy 1:7

Hymenaeus is probably the same individual Paul identifies in 2 Timothy 2:15-16, who taught that the resurrection had already happened. Rejecting a “good conscience” caused Hymenaeus and Alexander to swerve from truth, and the result was increasing ungodliness. The word “rejected” implies that they had wilfully thrust away faith and a good conscience. When a good conscience is rejected, the result is a seared conscience : “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, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared.”
1 Timothy 4:1-2

A sure way to shipwreck your faith is to neglect the anchor of God’s word. In doing so, the winds of doctrine will toss you around and like a ship adrift in a stormy sea, you will soon find yourself on the rocks. Hymenaeus and Alexander had rejected the faith in the sense that they were not teaching sound doctrine. When the gospel is replaced with error, the result can only be destructive. This does not mean that those who have shipwrecked their faith are beyond redemption. The hope remains that discipline and God’s chastisement will restore those who are true believers. Although Paul’s words towards Hymenaeus and Alexander seemed harsh,his intentions were clearly remedial: “By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,  among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”  1 Timothy 1:19-20

These are some of the effects of false teachings, more articles related to this topic:

Ten ways to identify false teachings
Ten ways false teachers ensnare people
Invalid reasons for staying in a church you know teaches false doctrine
Ten invalid arguments in defense of false teachers