TBN's false shepherds and Thomas Brooks' "Seven Marks of False Shepherds"...

Error message

(Tim) One of the themes in Scripture is false shepherds--those men (and women) who claim to speak for God when God hasn't called them and their message isn't from Him, but from the Evil One. As pastors, we should make careful note of the identifying marks of false shepherds, first for our own flock and souls, that we not be found to be false shepherds, ourselves. And as it is our duty to protect our flock from destruction at our own hands, it's also our duty to defend them against the hands of others. The good shepherd lays down his life in defense of his sheep.

A dear friend who's a missionary to Africa tells men there that he'd rather his children look at pornography than Trinity Broadcasting Network. They're strong words, but travel through townships and neighborhoods in Africa and see how many homes have it on. You may turn to strong words yourself if you love the souls under your care.

Trinity Broadcasting Network is the real deal--a group of men and women who claim to speak for God but speak for the Devil. They are false shepherds and shepherdesses, and every one of us who's been entrusted by God with a part of His Flock ought to have gone on record in our pulpit condemning TBN's heresies as well as their fleecing of their sheep. Without mincing words--think Jude or the Apostle John's Letters to the Seven Churches.

Here's a Facebook group intent on exposing TBN for what it is...

Their name is Reformation Christians Against Trinity Broadcasting Network. I've not read their posts yet, but here's a link for your investigation. It bodes well that one of their first posts is this, from the seventeenth century Puritan divine, Thomas Brooks:

* * *

Seven Marks of False Teachers

That Satan labors might and main, by false teachers, which are his

messengers and ambassadors, to deceive, delude, and for ever undo the

precious souls of men (Acts 20:28-30; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Eph. 4:14; 2 Tim.

3:4-6; Titus 1:11,12; 2 Peter 2:18,19): "I have seen folly in the

prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people

Israel to err" (Jer. 23:13). "The prophets make my people to err" (Micah

3:5). They seduce them, and carry them out of the right way into

by-paths and blind thickets of error, blasphemy, and wickedness, where

they are lost forever. "Beware of false prophets, for they come to you

in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Mat. 7:15).

These lick and suck the blood of souls: "Beware of dogs, beware of evil

workers, beware of the concision" (Phil. 3:2). These kiss and kill;

these cry, Peace, peace, till souls fall into everlasting flames,

&c., Proverbs 7.

Now, the best way to deliver poor souls from

being deluded and destroyed by these messengers of Satan is, to

discover them in their colors, that so, being known, poor souls may shun

them, and fly from them as from hell itself.

Now you may know

them by these characters following:



teachers are men-pleasers (Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 2:1-4). They preach more

to please the ear than to profit the heart: "Which say to the seers,

See not; and to the prophets, Prophecy no unto us right things: speak to

us smooth things; prophecy deceits"' (Isa. 30:10). "A wonderful and

horrible thing is committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely,

and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it

so. And what will you do in the end thereof?" (Jer. 5:30,31). They

handle holy things rather with wit and dalliance (playful come-on) then

with fear and reverence. False teachers are soul-undoers. They are like

evil chirurgeons, that skin over the wound, but never heal it. Flattery

undid Ahab and Herod, Nero and Alexander. False teachers are hell's

greatest enrichers. Non acerba, sed blanda, Not bitter, but flattering

words do all the mischief, said Valerian, the Roman emperor. Such smooth

teachers are sweet soul-poisoners (Jer. 23:16,17).


False teachers are notable in casting dirt, scorn, and

reproach upon the persons, names, and credits of Christ's most faithful

ambassadors. Thus Korah, Dathan, and Abiram charged Moses and Aaron that

they took too much upon them, seeing all the congregation was holy

(Num. 16:3). You take too much state, too much power, too much honour,

too much holiness upon you; for what are you more than others, that you

take so much upon you? And so Ahab's false prophets fell foul on good

Micaiah, paying of him with blows for want of better reasons (1 Kings

22:10-26). Yea, Paul, that great apostle of the Gentiles, had his

ministry undermined and his reputation blasted by false teachers: "For

his letters"' say they, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily

presence is weak and contemptible" (2 Cor. 10:10). They rather contemn

him than admire him; they look upon him as a dunce rather than a doctor.

And the same hard measure had our Lord Jesus from the Scribes and

Pharisees, who labored as for life to build their own credit upon the

ruins of his reputation. And never did the devil drive a more full trade

this way than he does in these days (Matt. 27:63). Oh! the dirt, the

filth, the scorn that is thrown upon those whom the world is not worthy.

I suppose false teachers mind not that saying of Austin, Quisquis

volens detrahit famae, nolens addit mercedi meae, He that willingly

takes from my good name, unwillingly adds to my reward.


False teachers are venters of the devices and visions of

their own heads and hearts. "Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets

prophesy lies in my name: I sent then not, neither have I commanded

them, neither spake unto them: they prophecy unto you a false vision and

divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart (Jer.

14:14); "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Harken not unto the words of the

prophets that prophecy unto you; they make you vain: they speak a vision

of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord" (Jer. 23:16).

Are there not multitudes in this nation whose visions are but golden

delusions, lying vanities, brain-sick fantasies? These are Satan's

great benefactors, and such as divine justice will hang up in hell as

the greatest malefactors, if the physician of souls does not prevent it.


False teachers easily pass over the great and

weighty things both of law and gospel, and stand most upon those things

that are of the least moment and concernment to the souls of men. "Now

the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good

conscience, and of faith unfeigned; from which some have swerved, have

turned aside unto vain jangling, desiring to be teachers of the law, and

understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm" (1 Tim.

1:5-7). "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay

tithe of mint, and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier

matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith; these ought ye to have

done, and not to leave the other undone" (Matt. 23:2,3). False teachers

are nice in the lesser things of the law, and as negligent in the

greater. "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome

words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine

which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but

doting about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife,

railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men corrupt minds,

and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such

withdraw thyself" (1 Tim. 6:3-5). If such teachers are not hypocrites in

grain, I know nothing, Romans 2:22. The earth groans to bear them, and

hell is fitted for them, Matt. 24:32.


teachers cover and color their dangerous principles and soul-impostures

with very fair speeches and plausible pretenses, with high notions and

golden expressions. Many in these days are bewitched and deceived, viz.

illumination, revelation, deification, fiery triplicity, &c. As

strumpets paint their faces, and deck and perfume their beds, the better

to allure and deceive simple souls (Gal. 6:12; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rom.

16:17,18; Mat. 16:6,11,12; 7:15), so false teachers will put a great

deal of paint and garnish upon their most dangerous principles and

blasphemies, that they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant

souls. They know sugared poison goes down sweetly; they wrap up their

pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold.


teachers strive more to win over men to their opinions, than to better

them in their conversations. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when

he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves"

(Matt. 24:17). They busy themselves most about men's heads. Their work

is not to better men's hearts, and mend their lives; and in this they

are very much like their father the devil, who will spare no pains to

gain proselytes.

False teachers make

merchandise of their followers. "But there were false prophets also

among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who

privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that

bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall

follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall

be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned

words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time

lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not" (2 Peter 2:1-3). They

eye your goods more than your good; and mind more the serving of

themselves, than the saving of your souls. So they may have your

substance, they care not though Satan has your souls (Rev. 18:11-13).

That they may the better pick your purse, they will hold forth such

principles as are very indulgent to the flesh. False teachers are the

great worshipers of the golden calf (Jer. 6:13).

Now, by these

characters you may know them, and so shun them, and deliver your souls

out of their dangerous snares; which that you may, my prayers shall

meet-yours at the throne of grace.

-Thomas Brooks