“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:3). What was Peter talking about? He was talking about false teachers and the source of their message.
The second epistle of Peter deals extensively with false teachers and their tactics. He begins his main assault against them by pointing out the difference between the false teachers and the true apostles. The main difference that existed between them is that the apostles received their message from God. What Peter, Paul, James, John, and the rest taught was given by inspiration. Here’s his argument: “Knowing this first that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (vv. 20-21). Just like the prophets of old, Peter and the other apostles received their doctrines directly from the Lord by divine inspiration.
The false teachers, on the other hand, invented cunningly devised fables. A fable is a myth. In the absence of real truth, false teachers make up what they teach. This is a sad, shocking, but very real fact. When questioned about the biblical support for various doctrines, many advocates of error simply affirm them to be so. No Bible is needed.
The saddest fact of all is that men will fall victim to the most ludicrous doctrines. Peter warns about this danger: “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through licentiousness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error” (2:18). Their victims are always the weakest, most defenseless of members, “having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls” (2:14). False teachers with false stories must be stopped.