“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting…” -Ephesians 4:14 NKJV

The fig tree in the Echo Caves of South Africa has the deepest root in the world, going 400 metres deep into the ground, which is longer than the Eiffel Tower and its foundation. Now, let us compare this particular fig tree with a young tree of one month.

If a powerful wind comes gusting, which of these trees would stand firm and which would be uprooted?  The answer is clear.

This can be likened to believers and our faith journey and how deeply rooted in God’s word we are. 

In today’s world, there are numerous teachings and opinions. According to our anchor Scripture, only a mature Christian can discern teachings to ensure they align with the Scriptures, discard wrong doctrines, and hold fast to what is true (1 Thessalonians 5:21). A believer is mature when s/he has a strong foundation in God’s word. 

Mathew 24:11 warns us that in these last days, many false prophets and teachers will arise and deceive many. The devil does not come in the form of a horned antichrist, as some may expect,  but in subtle ways like false interpretations of Scripture (Matthew 7: 15-20). Now, more than ever, it is important for believers to know the difference between what is true and what is almost true.

To shield yourself from falsehood, attend a solid Bible-teaching local assembly with a God-led teacher of the word (Ephesians 4: 12-14). There, your roots can grow deeper in the knowledge of God’s word. Before settling in a local assembly, ask the right questions. What is their doctrine on salvation, money, charismatic gifts, and evangelism? Does it align with the Scripture? 

You also have a part to play. You must spend ample time studying the Bible. The only way to discern falsehood is to know the truth; study your Bible daily. Like the Berean Christians in Acts 17:11, research on the teachings heard. Ask questions and seek clarity on subjects you need help understanding.

Recognise that the Bible is complete and there is no new revelation apart from all that is already revealed in the Bible. So, do not go searching for  ‘new revelations’, lest you fall prey to false teachers. 

Not only should you be able to recognise and protect yourself from false doctrine, but you must also take a stand against it. You must learn how to give a defence for the truth of the Scriptures; the lives of many depend on it.

Unlike animals, a tree never stops growing. It grows for as long as it lives. It grows taller and it grows deeper. So, be like a tree, ever-growing in God’s word. In the end, you will all be better for it.

Bible Reading Plan: Mark 11

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