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May 12 – The tactics of false teachers 

“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 … And many will follow their sensuality … And in their greed they will exploit you with false words …” – 2 Peter 2:1-3

Scripture reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

You may have heard before that the way that bank-tellers learn to recognize counterfeit money is by regularly handling genuine money. For if you know the real thing well it is easy to spot the fake. Yesterday we saw the importance of being under faithful Bible teaching and having faithful elders. But we are wise, also, to understand the tactics of false teachers.

Peter tells us that false teachers “secretly bring in destructive heresies.” Jude talks about them “creeping in unnoticed.” Paul says, in Galatians 2:4, “Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in – who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus.” And in 2 Corinthians 11:13, he said of them, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” So, they are cunning weasels. Ultimately though, what they teach is contrary to Scripture and Confession. They undermine rather than build up. They promote sensuality rather than sanctification.

Peter speaks of them “even denying the Master who bought them.” Some see this as proof that the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is wrong. It is not! These false teachers taught a Saviour Jesus, but not a Master. Thus, their refusal to obey His commandments and the false doctrines that they taught revealed that they were not true believers. In this way, they denied the Master who bought them.

May the Lord guard our pulpits from error today and bless us with faithful teachers/teaching.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word today. Ask the Lord to keep our ministers from error, and to speak His truth through them.

Rev. Andre Holtslag is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana (2007). At the present time he serves the Reformed Church of Avondale, which is in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, and is one of the Reformed Churches in New Zealand (RCNZ). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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