“"False Prophets"”Categories: Authority, Bible, Compromise, Expository Study, False Doctrine, God, Jesus Christ, New Testament, Obedience, Peter, Truth
One reason why Peter thought it “meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance” (II Pet. 1:13), is because of the false teachers that abounded in that day (II Pet. 2:1). Peter declares this had been a problem for generations, and it is not going away when he said, “But there were also false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you.”
In times past, some have argued about what a false teacher is. Some said it had to do with a person’s bad attitude (If so, what about Jonah?). I have heard some say everyone is a false teacher since everyone makes mistakes. Is a false teacher someone who made a mistake and is ready to correct his error (like Apollos, Acts 18:24-28)? Let us allow Peter to tell us who the false teacher is. First, is this person promoting and preaching “damnable heresies” (II Pet. 2:1)? That’s a false teacher! How can I know when I hear a “damnable heresy”? Peter answers this question in II Peter 1:12-15. When my mind is saturated with God’s word, and I am reminded of the truth consistently, when someone says something contrary to what I have been taught in Scripture, I can know it is false (Gal. 1:6-9). This was one of the reasons why Peter wanted to safeguard the people while he was alive. The constant reminders would serve as protection against false teachers, those who were going to deceive the “unstable souls” (II Pet. 2:14).
Sadly, false prophets are not going away any time soon. Peter said they were a problem in the past as well as a current problem. We could say the same thing today. For as many as will tell God’s truth, there are as many who want to pervert it (Gal. 1:7). Therefore, let us make sure we know what God has said (Eph. 3:4, 5:17). Let us spend time studying and growing closer to God (Jas. 4:7-8). When we determine to accept only the inspired word of God in all of our faith and practice (II Pet. 1:20-21), then we are well-armed against the false teachers that come our way.
- Jarrod M. Jacobs