Wednesday, April 16, 2014

False Prophets & False Teachers

I lectured on 2 Peter last Thursday and on Rev 13,11-18 yesterday in my Revelation class. As there were false prophets now there are false teachers among you, says apostle Peter. In these Petrine audiences perhaps not many claimed to be prophets or that they had the gift of prophecy but nevertheless false teachers were a problem among them. False teachers are those who falsely interpret traditions or God's Word as Peter claimed that they were those who misinterpreted Paul's teachings as they twisted other Scriptures. It is not surprising today many such false teachings have arisen due to a wrong reading of Paul and other NT texts. Some claim that there is now no need for confession of sins or perhaps even repentance since Christ's death has forgiven us of our sins, past, present and future. There is some truth in this as many errors are a mixture of truth and falsehood. That Christ has died of our sins does not mean that now we are less inclined to sin since we are still living in these fleshly bodies and we are not immune to temptations and if we yield then we sin. Just as John writes, if we sin we have an Advocate and if we confess our sins then he is just and righteous to forgive our sins and cleanse us of our unrighteousness (1John).
Then in Revelation we have the second beast from the earth as the first beast arises from the sea. The second beast is a false prophet as John calls him in Rev 16, 19 and 20. He deceives the world after his master the dragon, the devil who is the deceiver of the world (Rev 12). The prophets lead others to idolatry as the world worships the first beast and the dragon. The false prophet looks mild (appears like a lamb like those who wear long robes and large crosses but are hyprocrites) but his nature is demonic as he speaks like a dragon. As Paul says that there will be two signs before the day of the Lord, the first being the apostasy or rebellion which is happening right before our eyes, churches led astray with diverse teachings for their leaders are false teachers, not trained in all Scripture and sound doctrine arising from it.

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