A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
(Photo by Michael LaRosa on Unsplash)
Watch out for false prophets. they come to you in
sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious
wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.
I want to expand on my last post. A wolf in sheep's clothing will look like a sheep. That means a false prophet or teacher will look like a true believer. Are you able to tell the difference? It's important!
Matthew 7:16 says you will recognize them by their fruit. The problem is when you don't know what the fruit looks like. If you are not aware of what the Bible says, you are easy prey for a false prophet or teacher. Here are a few verses to consider:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the
kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my
Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day,
'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your
name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will
tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' "
In these verses, we see people who think they are believers and aren't. They are deceived. They thought prophesying in Jesus' name, driving out demons, and performing many miracles, all in Jesus' name was doing the will of the Father. But it wasn't. Apparently "many" will do these things so we cannot look at signs and wonders as a true test of a believer. If you have been thinking signs and wonders are the primary things believers should be looking for, then you are in danger of being deceived.
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and
will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
Paul says with certainty that "savage wolves" will come. He tells the Ephesians that they would not be safe even in their own church. And some five years later, Paul wrote to Timothy and reminded Timothy of how he had urged him to stay in Ephesus and stop those who were teaching false doctrines and wasting their time in endless discussions of myths and spiritual pedigrees. He said these teachers were promoting controversies rather than God's work (1 Tim. 1:3-4).
Paul's prophecy came true. False teachers had arisen in the church of Ephesus. Their fruit was teaching false doctrines; something other than what Paul had taught, and spending time speculating. A few verses later, Paul says these teachers wanted to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but that they didn't know what they were talking about, even though they spoke with confidence. In 1 Timothy 4:3-4, Paul gives a few examples. These teachers were saying it was wrong to be married and to eat certain foods, but they were twisting Scripture. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it, but receive it with thanks.
Do you know any teachers who look like Christians, but are teaching new revelation that isn't in the Bible? They are out there. Think about some of the teachers you have listened to. Have you searched in the Bible to see if what they say is biblical? You can't just accept everything someone teaches just because they claim to be a believer. They may be a dynamic speaker and a nice person. They may have a huge following and move in signs and wonders. They may also mix truth with untruth. It's our responsibility as believers to know what is taught in Scripture. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
I will be writing more on this subject in future blogs. The link below will help you determine if you are in danger of believing false doctrine. I encourage you to read the blog and then search Scripture if there is anything you question. The Holy Spirit will help you discern truth. Also feel free to add to the discussion in the comment section below.