Reject False Teachings

KEY VERSE: “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.” —II Peter 2:1

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Peter 2:1-10, 12-19

ALL THE APOSTLES knew that false teachers would arise in the church endeavoring to lead the followers of Christ astray. They had a good foundation for knowing of such events from the teaching of Jesus, and also of events recorded in the Old Testament. Jesus taught the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24-30, 37-43), in which the Devil sowed seeds of tares—not the children of the kingdom, but rather children of the wicked one. Tares, or imitation Christians, would come upon the scene through false teachings.

The Apostle Paul wrote a warning concerning false teachers in his farewell words to the elders of Ephesus, saying, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”—Acts 20:29-31

Again, to the Thessalonian brethren, he also wrote of a “falling away” that had to come. (II Thess. 2:3) The Apostle Peter uses events of the Old Testament to bolster his prediction, calling attention to conditions in Noah’s day when the preaching of Noah had no effect upon the people. The angels who had left their first estate were the false teachers and the consequence of failure to reject their errors led to the great Deluge and the end of that world.—II Pet. 2:4,5

Another event in the Old Testament, mentioned by Peter is that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Righteous Lot, Abraham’s nephew, dwelling in Sodom was vexed by the principles of unrighteousness, both by word and example.

The judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah reached a climax in their destruction, when fire and brimstone rained down upon these cities. (II Pet. 2:6-8) In these two examples, the unrighteous conduct of the people was plainly seen and taught.

Peter calls attention to the example of Balaam, a prophet of the Lord who was enticed by Balak, the king of Moab, to receive monetary compensation if he would curse Israel. He mentions how the dumb ass carrying the prophet to curse Israel tried to stop Balaam by speaking with a man’s voice. (II Pet. 2:15, 16) In the account given in Numbers—chapters 22 to 24—it appears that Israel was blessed and not cursed.

Balaam was the mastermind of the events recorded in Numbers 25, which led to Israel’s curse, wherein the men of Israel were enticed by the daughters of Moab and Midian to accept their idolatrous practices, causing a plague to come as a punishment upon Israel.

When God had Moses avenge this tragedy, as recorded in Numbers, chapter 31, we read that Balaam was slain along with the kings of Midian, because it was his counsel that caused the women of Midian to entice the men of Israel.—Num. 31:16

We see how the failure to reject false teachers always ends in tragedy.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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