In my last post (Hey Jude) I expressed my concern in regards to false teachers that seem to abound these days. Like the “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, they seem to be among us in an often discomforting close proximity. Under the guise of “ministry” they sneak in amongst the flock, having an outward appearance that’s rather sheep-like but underneath are ravenous predators seeking to devour both the weak and the strong.
That last statement is noteworthy! I am amazed how many Christians who have presumably walked with the Lord for many years are being deceived and led astray from the true gospel by these false teachers.
I have a close friend who is a rancher up in Wyoming. Some years ago when mis-guided, uninformed environmentalists sought to re-introduce wolves into the Yellowstone area of Wyoming, my friend became a significant voice for the ranchers who expressed great concern about this re-seeding of highly skilled predators in their backyard. Sure enough, it’s been a disaster on many levels, but that’s a whole other story for discussion elsewhere.
Killing Only the Weak and Wounded?
I would like to point out however, that one of the most popular lines used to promote the “pro-wolf ” movement was: “they only kill the weak and the wounded.” Absolutely, categorically not true! There is ample and credible evidence to the contrary. Many verified accounts and photographic documentation of the dozens of elk, herds of sheep, prize domestic bulls and more, bear testament to the fact that wolves kill both the weak and the strong.Does this mean wolves are evil, demon possessed animals? No, they’re just wolves doing what wolves do. I had a close encounter some years ago with wolves as I was hunting in Alaska. An entire family of wolves, a male (probably 180 lbs.), a jet black female and four half grown pups presented themselves at about 50 yards. We viewed each other for a while and then I shot them all….with a video camera!
Had you worried for a moment, didn’t I? They’re a beautiful animal, and I have a great respect for their cunning and ferocity. As I consider God’s creation of both the sheep and the wolf, I am reminded of the scripture, “I am the Lord….causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.” (Is. 45:7) As someone said, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf!”
I think it’s interesting that of all the creatures He created, the one He uses to symbolize the terrible danger of false teachers is the shrewd, cunning and highly efficient predator, the wolf!
The Wolf that Puts On Sheep’s Clothing
Many are probably familiar with one of Aesop’s Fables which talks about a wolf that put on sheep’s clothing so he could fool the shepherd and the flock into believing he was a lamb. Where do you suppose Aesop got this idea for that fable? It’s interesting to note that in Aesop’s story, the shepherd returned to the flock at night to gather meat for the next day. The wolf in sheep’s clothing was killed as one of the sheep! Oops!So, how do we recognize false teachers? What will their judgment be? How do we stand against them?
For the answers to these questions we must go to the Scriptures.
Peter, in his second epistle, writes to warn believers about the false teachers who are peddling damaging doctrine. He contrasts the life of a Christian, typified by moral excellence, self-control, knowledge, perseverance, godliness, and selfless love against that of the false teacher. He says (by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) they are sensual, arrogant, greedy and covetous.
I believe it’s interesting to note that false teachers are identified more by how they are and how they act than by what they say. If you are greedy you will pervert scripture in a way that will satisfy your greed. Beware of those ministries that spend most of their time continually, if not exclusively, asking for your money, promising such things as “large miracles for large offerings.”
Oh the shame of selling or putting a dollar amount on a miracle! Arrogance abounds these days as self-proclaimed “prophets” presume to be the only ones qualified to “speak the word of the Lord” when in fact, God has spoken clearly, definitively and completely through His Word.
You get the picture; bad character promotes bad theology and false teaching.
One might ask, “Why would a Christian minister go down this path?” I would submit that they likely were never on the right path to begin with.
John addresses this issue in his first letter starting at the eighteenth verse: “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us…” (I John 2:18-19)
If that was a problem and a prediction two thousand years ago, how much more should we heed this warning today.
Could anyone knowingly perverting scripture, taking out of context Spirit inspired words to build their own kingdoms and live their own pockets be considered for Christ?
I’ll let you answer.
Building Different Kingdoms
Let me pause for a moment and clarify a point some of you may be raising. Is every ministry that asks for financial help wrong in doing so? Absolutely not! My wife and I support several wonderful ministries and have for years. If they didn’t make their needs known we wouldn’t know how to respond appropriately. I think you understand the difference between these types of ministries and those that seem to exist for no other reason than to build their kingdoms, their bank accounts, and their image.Jude gives us ample description of false teachers. “…these men defile the flesh, reject authority…..are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” (Jude 1:8-13)
How will they be judged? Jude continues; “And about these (false teachers) also Enoch…prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Let’s pause for a moment. Remember, the context of these verses is not about the ungodly in general but false teachers in particular. He goes on to say, “…they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” (Jude 1:14-16)
What is our defense against such as these? It’s really quite simple I believe. The Word of God! “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Ps. 119:105)
Hunting Predators at Night
Most of you know I’m an outdoorsman. One of my favorite things to do is hunt predators at night. We have a significant problem where we live with both coyotes and wild hogs. There have been some coyote attacks just recently in the news, due to overpopulation of these predators. Both children and pets have been cited as victims of these confrontations.I like to go into the woods at night – predators usually prefer the cover of darkness, sit down by a tree and begin to make a sound like a wounded rabbit – predators are particularly drawn to the helpless. Often, in extreme darkness I can’t see the coyote or wild hog but I can hear, sometimes smell them – many predators smell.
I hope you’re getting all the symbolism!
When through sound, smell or sometimes just God given instinct, I sense the predator is within range, I hit my light mounted to my weapon and in that moment of illuminated exposure I dispatch the varmint.
So should we now be able to expose the false teaching predators by the light of God’s Word and so will His judgment one day dispatch those who have preyed on the sheep of His flock!
What We Are Seeing Happen In Our Country
Harsh, you may say? Friends, these are critical times. We have seen things happen in our country in recent days that we would never have imagined a short time ago. Lawlessness is on the increase, evil men are growing worse, as scripture predicted and the church is being assaulted and sadly often weakened by political correctness, shallow preaching and compromise of all sorts.But The Shepherd is not fooled and neither should His sheep be led astray!
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them…I am the good shepherd; and I know my own and my own know me.” (John 10:11-14)
He knows and we should know and be aware as well that there are true sheep and there are Wolves Among The Sheep.
A Special Request
Today, our ministry relies on your financial support. If you’d like to donate to our continuing Kingdom work, you can do so here.
Thank you for all your support and I look forward to what God has next for our work together.