How to expose false doctrines with popular Bible verses

False doctrines distort God’s truth. Image: Sander Sammy|Unsplash

We often encounter false doctrines when pursuing our faith, leading us to question and doubt what to believe.

In the conglomeration of many churches and beliefs worldwide, we sometimes stop and wonder if what we heard or read is accurate and reflects the truth of God.

Because of our fallen nature and “itchy ears,” we relish hearing pastors or reading passages online that verify our erroneous thoughts and understanding of God and Christianity.

Sometimes we despise facing the reality that our perceptions and ways are wrong and sinful. And, so, we gleefully welcome false doctrines. 

We must not forget that Satan is the Father of all Lies. He is always lurking around, ready to deceive and lure us into his kingdom of darkness with enticing false teachings.

What is a false doctrine?

“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

Doctrines contradicting the Bible are dangerous to our Christian faith if not spotted and challenged. Whether intentional or accidental, false teachings can lead us away from God’s truth and down a twisted path.

Examples of false doctrine may include denying Jesus’ divinity, rejecting belief in the resurrection of the dead, disregarding the Trinity, or even trying to use ‘works’ to gain salvation. Denying Scripture’s authority and paying homage to false gods are also false doctrines.

False doctrines, often supported by those who claim to be ‘Christian,’ have the potential to divide and mislead the Church. Thankfully, we have Scripture to defend us against false ideas. To help us stay strong against adversity, God invites us all to rely on His Holy Spirit and dive into reading His Word.

Significant examples of false doctrines

Here are some great examples of false doctrines that you can hear from false prophets:

Jesus Christ is only a man, not God

“While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” – Titus 2:13

For centuries, the divinity of Jesus Christ has been a cornerstone of the Christian faith. Rooted in biblical teachings and bolstered by his incredible miracles, Jesus is perceived as the same as God the Father. 

John 1:1 declares: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This definitive interpretation suggests that Jesus is God incarnate, intimately connected to his Father through a shared divine essence.

Jesus Christ is not the Messiah

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

The statement that Jesus Christ is not the Messiah contradicts fundamental Christian teachings proclaiming Jesus as humanity’s anointed savior. Christianity claims that Jesus fulfilled all messianic prophecies through his birth, life, death, and resurrection while being the Son of God. He came to Earth to redeem humanity from sin and offer everlasting salvation.

The prophet Isaiah prophesied the coming of a unique childbearing incredible titles. He called Him the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and many Christians believe that he was speaking about Jesus. The New Testament supports this notion by tracing Jesus’ genealogy to King David, per Jewish tradition.

Salvation can be achieved through good works

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

Salvation is a blessing from God, not something we can earn through good works. The Bible tells us this in multiple passages. Likewise, Romans 3:20 teaches us that no attempt to obey the law will make us right with God; only faith in Jesus can do that for us!

Trying to acquire salvation through good works leads to legalism, pride, and self-righteousness, the antithesis of Christianity.

Hell is not real

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28

In Christianity, hell is a core belief based on Jesus Christ’s and the Bible’s teachings. Hell is a place of eternal punishment and separation from God for those who reject Jesus Christ as their savior and continue to disobey God.

In Matthew 25:41, Jesus speaks about the final judgment, saying, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” In addition, many early Christian creeds, such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, affirm the belief in the existence of hell.

Grace is a license to sin

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” – Galatians 5:13

The notion that grace gives us a license to sin is no more than a deceptive belief.

Sometimes referred to as “easy-believism,” this deceptive belief suggests that attaining favor with God is simply a matter of recognizing the facts about Jesus, saying a prayer, and then assuring oneself they will have an everlasting home in heaven.

But true grace originates from God, who offered it through Jesus Christ. This gift of salvation allows us to be restored with confidence and will enable us to transform. The Bible also reveals that those who accept God’s gracious gift will start producing favorable fruits in their lives.

More Bible verses about true and false doctrines

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness.” – 1 Timothy 6:3

“Dear friends, 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. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” – 1 John 4:1-2

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” – 2 Corinthians 11:13-14

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” – Galatians 1:8

“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” – 1 Timothy 1:3

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves.” – 2 Peter 2:1

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace —as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

How to expose false doctrines

Here are some tips on how you can expose false teachings:


Prayer can be a powerful tool in exposing false doctrines because it allows us to connect directly with and seek guidance from God. When we pray for clarity and understanding, we invite spiritual wisdom and discernment into our lives, which can help us identify and expose false doctrines.

By praying for wisdom and discernment with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can also develop a greater understanding of our own beliefs and become more grounded in our faith.

Verify against God’s Word

The Bible, God’s Word, is our ultimate source of truth. Written over 1500 years by 40 different authors, it always speaks a unified message pointing to Jesus and his redemptive work. Any teaching that disagrees with or undermines this can be easily debunked as false.

For starters, it explicitly asserts that salvation comes through trusting in Jesus alone. Anything that implies differently can immediately be discarded. The Bible also gives excellent examples and warnings about false teachings and who perpetrates them.

Seek the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God’s active presence in the world and works in the hearts and minds of believers to guide us in understanding the truth.

When exposing false doctrine, the Holy Spirit is our divine guide. It grants us a profound insight into God’s Word, so we can recognize teachings that don’t align with His will. Moreover, He gives us the discernment to tell right from wrong and what’s true or untrue. Lastly, if people are spreading false doctrines, the Holy Spirit can condemn them, often leading to repentance and changing their wrong teachings.

The Holy Spirit can also use circumstances to expose false doctrine. For example, false teaching may lead to destructive behavior or division within the church. As believers experience the negative consequences of false teaching, they may begin to question its validity and seek the truth.

In pursuit of the truth

Image: Marc-Olivier Jodoin|Unsplash

The Earth is full of secular knowledge unheard of in days past. The advent of internet technology has added multitudes of information accessible by the power of our fingertips.

But data can be truth or falsity.

The key to discerning false doctrine is godly wisdom that emanates from the Word and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God is light, and evil is darkness. Light always wins.

Christians mustn’t become complacent and familiar with what they believe. We should always look carefully at what we hear against the Bible itself and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit for assistance with discerning truth from falsehoods.

Still, with grace and love guiding our approach, we can delicately extend a hand of truth and understanding to those misled by false teachings. Let’s turn away from the heresy that causes division and instead embrace an understanding of the foundations of the Christian faith.

The battle rages as Satan continues to assault humanity with lies, deception, and the peddling of false doctrines to suit our selfish and sinful nature. But when we invoke the name of Christ, the devil flees.

More from Crossmap: Overcoming False Doctrines Require Quality Time in God’s Presence – Raising Zion

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Joseph Antonio Liao

Joseph is a freelance writer, Christian minister, and author of the book: "Sober with God." Joseph maintains a He has also been active in sharing the Gospel in churches, drug rehabs, and homes and on how God heals the individual and the family from the wreckage of drug abuse and alcoholism.