Ahab, king of Israel, and Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, were trying to decide whether to go into battle together. Ahab kept 400 so-called prophets on staff, who dutifully “prophesied” victory. Unimpressed, Jehoshaphat asked if there was an actual prophet of the Lord. Reluctantly, Ahab sent for Micaiah, who prophesied their defeat (1 Kings 22:1–28). “I can tell him only what the LORD tells me,” Micaiah said (v. 14).
There are still false teachers in the church today (vv. 1–3). We cannot minimize this issue. A heresy is any teaching which contradicts God’s Word. These teachers mislead many into believing ideas that are not from God. How can we know false teaching when we hear it? False teachers will in some way deny Christ and His redemption (v. 1). In addition, they will be marked by depraved conduct, greed, and “fabricated stories.” The result for them will be condemnation and destruction.
God will destroy false teachers and all the wicked, while rescuing the godly (vv. 4–9). It might not appear that way. It might seem the wicked are getting away with it and escaping judgment. If we’re tempted to think this way, we can look to Scripture for counterevidence: (1) Fallen angels, apparently some of whom are already in hell (v. 4); (2) The entire ancient world, which was destroyed by the Flood (v. 5); and (3) Sodom and Gomorrah, judged by fire (vv. 6–8).
God doesn’t take sin lightly and will surely punish false teachers as well (v. 10–12). In contrast to godly submission, a quality we’ve studied this month, they “despise authority.” In their arrogance, they even abuse fallen angels. “They are like unreasoning animals,” Peter wrote. Tragically, they’d suppressed and disfigured the image of God in them (see also Rom. 1:18).
>> How can you be a truth teller? Study your Bible to help keep yourself firmly grounded in what it says. To help upgrade a friend’s Bible knowledge, why not tell them about Today in the Word?
God of Truth, please bless our study of Your Word. Help us understand its precepts. Make its truths adhere to our hearts and transform our thinking. The most devastating truth is better than the sweetest lie.