Red Flag Rising
“Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Many of us have heard the expression “Raising a red flag.” Raising a flag brings attention to something and ensures it is noticed. Raising a red flag is a term for a literal flag used for signaling or it can be used as a metaphor of a particular problem requiring attention. I used to scuba dive. An important part of our gear was a red divers flag placed on the surface of the water. This flag was designed to alert vessels that there were divers under the water. Not raising a red flag was risking danger or possible peril should a boat pass over as we were ascending to the water’s surface. Scripture gives us red flag warnings when it comes to being aware of false teachings. A cultural shift has moved many away from heeding these warnings. What does a false teacher look like? 2 Peter 2:12 refers to false teachers as “unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed.” 2 Timothy 3:8 describes them as, “depraved in mind and their faith is a counterfeit.” While there will always be false teachers and duplicitous doctrines in our world, we have not been left without wisdom. Here are a few scriptural “red flags” to be aware of. 1) Teachers of greed and exploitation. (2 Peter 2:3). 2) Teachers in opposition of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:8). 3) Camouflaged wolves. (Matthew 7:15). 4) Teachers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. (2 John 1:7). 5) Teachers promising freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity. (2 Peter 2:19). We are instructed to not be surprised by these teachers but rather to “test the spirits.” (1 John 4). In this age of Internet and lack of Bible knowledge, we must commit to return to the truth of God’s Word lest we be swept away by the doctrine of demons. We need to heed the spiritual red flags in God’s Word and walk in the Spirit of truth. Ground yourself in the Word of God so that you are not deceived.
Heavenly Father, help us discern false teachings and see You clearly, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.