There is a saying, " You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?" How easy is it for us to dispense advice and to criticize others with our words, yet have we ever stopped to ask ourselves if we are guilty of those things we are trying to correct in others. Looking in the mirror of self-introspection is not easy, and we are often blinded by an imagined image of our idealized selves, as opposed to the reality of what we really are. When we find out that someone we thought was righteous who talks the talk, is actually not truly walking the walk, their words lose credibility with us. And it only takes one moment of alienation to make us lose trust and faith in everything that person has to say. It also makes us see that person for what they really are. It is written in the end times that many false teachers and prophets would come. Most of them will be motivated by a need for power and control over others, and a burning desire to have their exclusive points of view become imbedded in the minds of others. And it makes me wonder how many of these false teachers even realize what they are - when they look in the mirror, I suspect they see themselves as ultra-righteous and doing God's work. It is for this reason that we need to pray for discernment in order to feather out good from evil and truth from lies. In our times hypocrisy and hidden ulterior motives are rife in those who believe themselves teachers of the word. They lack the humility and empathy that Christ taught with, and they are intolerant to anything that opposes even slightly their view of things; their personal manifesto. How is it possible that even the elect will be fooled? Because these false prophets and teachers know the word and can impress others with their knowledge of the Bible. It makes them seem like they are genuine and they will use the word to further their ideas and concepts. How do we protect ourselves? One first clue is they will display an intolerance to anything or anyone that can possibly see through their veil of hypocrisy. They will use scripture and other techniques to bully those who can expose them. Their greatest fear is to lose control of their followers and for the truth of their true intentions to be made public. The other way we can test them is to simply ask the Holy Spirit for help in finding out what the truth about them is. If they are false, their words will begin to take on a strange dissonance, and it will soon be evident over a period of time that they can be observed bullying and nitpicking those who pose a threat to them. They can't risk outright dismissal of a follower who has technically done nothing wrong, but they will find subtle ways to make the situation so uncomfortable for the person, that the person leaves. Mission accomplished without exposing themselves. We must all be careful in weighing the words of those who pose a leaders in the body of Christ. We must not assume that because someone has attended a seminary or, like a priest, has had over 10 years of theological education, that this makes the person a righteous, honest teacher of the word. In all things we need to trust in God over man, and constantly test what is being said by man for truth. If we don't, we can easily become fooled and brain washed to the twisted concepts that lie just beneath the surface of the false teacher's words. We must all be alert to such individuals because they are everywhere. Never be afraid to ask questions. Observe what the teacher does as opposed to what the teacher actually says. They are good at hiding their true selves, but they cannot hide from God, and if you ask God for help in discerning good from evil, He will assist you. As long as we stay alert and continue to consult God, these people cannot hide from us.