But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
- No prophecy is spoken by false Prophets.
- False prophets arose before the time of Christ.
- False prophets will continue to arise.
- False prophets bring destructive heresies.
- False prophets bring destructive heresies secretly.
- False prophets will even deny Christ.
- False prophets bring destruction to themselves.
- Many will follow false prophets.
- Because of false prophets truth will be blasphemed.
- False prophets exploit with false words
- False prophets exploit because of their greed.
- False prophets have been condemned for a long time.
- The destruction of false prophets is assured.
- God did not spare the angels who sinned
- God cast the sinning angels into hell.
- God committed the sinning angles to chains of gloomy darkness.
- God knows how to rescue the godly while punishing the unrighteous until the Day of Judgment. Examples are:
- Noah was spared while the rest of the world perished in a flood.
- Lot was saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
- God will especially punish those who indulge in defiling passion.
- God will especially punish those who despise authority.
- Noah was a herald of righteousness along with 7 others.
- God brought a flood on the world of the ungodly.
- God turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ash.
- God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah to extinction.
- Sodom and Gomorrah are an example of what will happen to the ungodly.
- Lot was very distressed over the conduct of the wick in Sodom and Gomorrah
- Lot was a righteous man.
- Even though Lot was a righteous man he lived among the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah every day.
- Lot was tormented by what he saw and heard in Sodom and Gomorrah.
- The false prophets boldly blaspheme the righteous.
- Angels are greater than men in might and power.
- Even angels do not have the audacity to blaspheme the righteous before God.
- The false prophets blaspheme about things they know nothing about.
- The false prophets behave like animals.
- The false prophets are irrational.
- The false prophets act according to instinct.
- The false prophets are born to be caught and destroyed like animals.
- The false prophets will be the cause of their own destruction.
- The false prophets will suffer wrong as a payment for the wrong they committed.
- The false prophets are glad to revel in the daytime.
- The false prophets are blots and blemishes on creation.
- The false prophets revel in their deceptions.
- The false prophets are excited about taking advantage of the righteous.
- The false prophets are lustful and desire to commit adultery.
- The false prophets entice those who are not well founded.
- The false prophets actually train in greed.
- The false prophets are accursed children.
- The false prophets have willfully abandoned the right way.
- The false prophets have followed the example of Balaam.
- Balaam was the son of Beor.
- Balaam loved to profit from wrong behavior.
- Balaam was rebuked for his transgression or behavior.
- A donkey spoke with a human voice to Balaam.
- The donkey restrained Balaam’s madness.
- False Prophets are like a waterless spring or mist driven by a storm
- A gloom of darkness has been reserved for the false prophets.
- False prophets entice by passions of the flesh.
- The false prophet entices those who are barely escaping the unrighteous.
- The false prophets promise freedom.
- The false prophets deliver enslavement.
- The false prophets are slaves to corruption.
- Whatever overcomes a person enslaves him.
- Having escaped sinfulness of the world by the grace of God and then to have go back to unrighteousness is worse than to have never been freed in the first place.
At the end of chapter 1 Peter says no prophecy comes from man. God spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Peter concludes that thought by stating clearly there have been and will be false prophets. Men who claim to speak the word of God but do not.
Having gone to seminary does not mean that someone is teaching or preaching correctly. Paul was a student of the best teacher in Jerusalem. Yet before Christ infected his teaching, he taught incorrectly. Having the title “Pastor” does not mean someone teaches correctly. Many have claimed the title “Pastor” and teach something other than Christ. They may even throw in a few verses but the focus of their preaching is not Christ.
Peter does not say this will happened at specific times or seasons. This is a problem for all times. The church will never be free from the evil of false teachers.
We then must do as John says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1. Unfortunately biblical literacy is so low the church today does not know enough to test the spirits. As a result many have followed their sensuality and have blasphemed the way of truth.
When we think of greed, we normally think about money. The greed of false teachers is not limited just to money. Their greed may extend to fame, and the acclaim of others as well.
It does not matter how much these false teachers corrupt the church, God will protect the elect and rain vengeance on these evil doers. Peter uses Noah and Lot as examples. Both were rescued from extremely evil and immoral situations while God punished the evil.
Peter compares these false teachers to those doing evil in the time of Noah and to the immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah. We tend to think that since there is a legal right to believe and teach what you will that it is not evil. We live in a society and culture that says false doctrine ain’t that bad. You can believe what ever you want. But Peter points out that in doing so, we arrogantly assume a liberty not even give to the angels.
Peter tells us you can build large crowds by teaching false doctrine. Peter tells us that many will follow these evil teachers. But these false teachers are animals. They behave according to their animal instincts. Peter is not politically correct when it comes to false teachers. He does not say they are not simply mistaken. He says they are perverse. They are wicked. They are irrational animals. They are ignorant. And their ignorance does not excuse them. Their ignorance does no make them less evil. It makes them more evil because they talk about things they know noting about.
Peter calls these false teachers “waterless springs” That is, they promise refreshment yet they have nothing to offer. They appeal to our fleshly desires. In reality they are bankrupt. They promise freedom yet they enslave.
The Apostle Peter says straight out there are and will be false prophets. Yet, we believe that they are somewhere else. We refuse to believe they are in our church. The response I hear most frequently is how could my pastor be wrong. He is such a nice guy. He’s studied the bible. He’s gone to seminary. He has a degree in theology. Who am I to disagree. Besides that, I do not want to sow seeds of doubt.
So we go along. Peter says, these false teaching are evil. Would you not speak out if your pastor raped and murdered. Peter says what false teachers are doing is worse. They are blaspheming the name of God. The question is, who do you love more a pastor who teaches falsely or God?
There are many pastors and preachers teaching falsely today. Is your pastor teaching Christ and Him crucified or are they teaching about about you. Are they teaching how to have a happy marriage, and raise kids. Are they teaching something you could have picked up from Dr. Phil or Oprah with a few bible verses thrown in?
There is a lot of disagreement about what the bible says. How can a simple layman understand it? Biblical illiteracy is epidemic. What the bible says is pretty easy to determine. Pick it up and read it! The way you know what Moby Dick says is by reading Moby Dick not by reading books about Moby Dick.
We live in a relativistic culture that claims there is no absolute truth. Since there is no truth there is not falsehood. Since there is no falsehood there are no false teachers. Yet another reason we do condemn false teachers is culturally we do not believe they exist.
Another reason we do not condemn these false teachers is we want to believe what they teach is true. Men like Joel Olsteen, who teach you have the power with in you to do what ever you want, teach something we want to believe. But in that message there is no cross. There is no sin. There is no atonement. We can do it ourselves. We want that to be true.
A cursory examination of life proves it to be false. I really wanted to play football. But I could not even make the high school team. I did not have the genes for it. I was too small, too weak, too slow, and lacked flexibility. Osteen’s answer, as is all who preach this false message, is I just did not want it bad enough. I needed to try harder. They back it up with motivational stories.
That is not good news. That is horrible news. The goodness of the gospel is Christ did it all for me. I do not need to do anything. Christ is the reason. It is Christ’s love for me. That while I was actively working against Him, He reached down and redeemed my life. It is all Christ and none of me. Now that is good news.
We can look at false teachers and notice their churches growing. People are flocking to them. We want to know if we are doing the will of God. We want to measure it. If our crowds are not growing we must be wrong. If our budgets are not increasing we must be doing something wrong. If false teachers have large crowds and mammoth budgets, they must be doing it right. That is the way the world measures. That is not the way the church of Jesus Christ should measure.
Let us hold to what Christ commanded, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19