a. False Teachers And Prophets Cause Evil To Be Spoken About The Way Of Truth

One of the SIX hallmarks or warning signs of false prophets and teachers is that they will cause evil to be spoken about the way of truth:

 But 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.

 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom  the way of truth shall be evil spoken of

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (2 Peter 2: 1 – 3).

 

b. Three Important Elements About The Way Of Truth

Apostle Peter speaks about the negative impact that false prophets and apostles have on  the way (hodos) of the truth.  The following descriptions are made in reference to the Way of Truth  (G225/alētheia):

1. there is a way of truth which is also called the 

  • way of God in truth (Mt 22:16; Mk 12: 14; Lk 20:21).
  • truth of God (Rom 1: 25 & 3:7).
  • truth of Christ (2 Cor 11: 10).
  • word of truth (2 Cor 6: 7; Eph 1: 13 ; James 1: 18).
  • truth of the Gospel (Gal 2: 5, 14; Col 1: 5).
  • walking in truth (2 Jn 1: 4).

2. Characteristics of truth

  • confessing a deed – Mk 5: 30 – 33.
  • acknowledging the truth of God’s Word – Mk 12: 28 – 32.
  • living in accordance with the truth – no pretense and hypocrisy – Galatians 2; Jn 3: 21; Jn 8:44.
  • avoiding lies – Peter failed to acknowledge that he knew Jesus – Luke 22: 59.
  • worshiping God without pretense – Jn 4: 23 & 24
  • acknowledging that Jesus speaks the truth about God and is the Truth, the Only Way to eternal life – Jn 8: 40 & 14: 6.
  • To be full of the Spirit of Truth – Jn 14: 17; Jn 15: 26 & 16:  13.

3. Characteristics of truthful teaching and preaching

Pay attention here! There is a particular characteristic about the truth that is taught correctly. This is perhaps brought out best by the following text in which Jesus’ enemies tried to “catch him in His words”, then gave up rather unwillingly as His doctrine was pure and accurate.

In order to fully understand true doctrine, we must pay attention to the fact that Lord Jesus’ enemies marveled that He taught and spoke “rightly” and taught the ‘way of God truly”:

And they watched [him], and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person [of any], but teachest the way of God truly  (G225/alētheia) –Luke 20: 20 & 21.

To teach rightly (G3723 – orthōs) is to:

  • teach plainly. 
  • teach upright. Upright teaching will cause those who are crippled to leap out of  their paralysis and to walk (Acts 14: 10).
  • and straight (from the root word for orthōs) so that the lame can have a plain path where they can walk without falling.

Therefore, to teach the way of God in truth is to teach the Word of God straight and plain and to bring deliverance. there is no mixing of the truth with lies, no hypocrisy, no twisting of the truth to please the rich, no withholding of the Word of God. 

 

c.  Example of speaking the word of God in truth and also failing to do so

Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians about an issue related to the hypocrisy and deception of Apostle Peter and how he had dealt with the situation. During one visit to the church of Antioch, Apostle Peter would eat with the Gentile believers, but stopped doing so when Apostle James sent some brethren, who held to circumcision for salvation,  to visit from Jerusalem.

To make matters worse, the Jewish brethren with the Apostle also began to follow the example of Apostle Peter. Even Barnabas, Pastor of the Antioch church was carried away with the hypocrisy. Apostle Paul, seeing that they ” they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,” rebuked Apostle Peter in front of all of them.

Apostle Peter and the brethren who held to circumcision for salvation had failed to acknowledge and live by the truth of the Gospel – no one is justified by the works of the law (Galatians 2).

Upcoming – Characteristics of the spirit of error.

 

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