Watch Out For Wolves!

17 Jan


Matthew 7:15-25..

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.

I have shared it before that probably the biggest crisis facing the church today is biblical ignorance.  I can’t count how many times that I have heard someone plunge into a lifestyle or how many times I’ve heard a preacher say something that was clearly out of sync with the Word of God and people buy into it.  I have even heard old adages quoted as though they were scripture.

“Like the Bible says, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

But probably one of the greatest dangers is the false teaching that goes on..  I saw a guy on late night television the other night promoting “miracle spring water”. In the commercial, people were talking about having taken this water and being healed of physical ailments and even receiving huge checks in the mail.

What is even more tragic is when I read of people who died because a false preacher had convinced them to stop taking medication or refuse treatment and just wait on God to heal them. The problem is this: God also equips doctors.  And moves through them.

Years ago, there was a con artist preacher named Hobart Freeman. His church had established a beautiful auditorium inside a refurbished barn. It was packed – even on Sunday nights – as people left their communities and traveled 30 to 100 miles to attend and hear this dynamic speaker preach his version of  the Bible.

Jack and Mary regularly attended the Barn on Sunday Nights.
In time, the “Glory Barn” and it’s “Faith Assemblies” began to infer, if not outright teach, that if you had enough faith, you wouldn’t need to go to a Doctor to be healed (in fact if you went, it was a sign you didn’t have enough faith). Jack, who was diabetic, believed Freeman and his teachings and, after several incidents where he blacked out because he hadn’t taken his medicine, died of a lack of insulin.

Jesus said “Watch out for false prophets, for they come to you in Sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

People die physically and spiritually at the hands of false prophets because wolves devour their prey.

What are these wolves hungry for?
Not your food or you money. These wolves are hungry for you. Paul warned in Acts 20:
“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.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” (Acts 20:28-31).
Wolves desire YOU… because you are their power base. You give them importance. You become their flock.

Jude condemns these wolves in very direct terms: “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord…. these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals— these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm— shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted— twice dead.” (Jude 4, 10 , 12-13)

The way Jude describes them, you’d think these teachers were some kind of 3 headed monsters that could be easily seen and identified. But, they’re not. Satan, we’re told, appears like an angel of light. Satan and his followers don’t hand out calling cards saying: “I’m an enemy of God.” They disguise themselves to gain your confidence. Because it’s easier to deceive you if they look like you.

At one time, the cover on the Jehovah Witness Bible was green. But lately, it’s been changed it to black. Why? Jehovah Witnesses want to look like you. When they come to your door, they’ll quote from Scrpture. Why? Because they want to sound like you.

Some of these false religions spend millions each year on magazine, radio and TV ads to convince you they are just like you. In fact they grow offended to be accused of NOT being Christians.

If they tend to disguise themselves, how are we supposed to recognize these evil people?
Jesus tells us, we can recognize them “by their fruits.”

In the Old Testament, God’s people were told in Deuteronomy 13:1-4
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

In others words, even a person who can tell the future and do miraculous things is a liar if they try to get you to follow a different god.

In I John 2:22-23, the apostle wrote: “I do no write to you because you do not write to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is an antichrist – he denies the Father and the Son. No on who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

Galatians 1:8 says: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”

One of the biggest falsehoods out there today is the health and wealth or “prosperity” Gospel.  They will sound good. They will quote the same scriptures you hear me quote. But then they’ll throw in the tiniest of allusions that success and physical health is an absolute sign of a right walk with Jesus. They never preach on Job or talk about Paul being stoned or imprisoned just for preaching the Gospel.

They’re playing you folks. And you get mad at those of us who are sounding the alarm against them. I am simply pleading. Be wary.

Proverbs 30:5-6 says: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

Anytime you see a “supplement” to scripture or some preacher has received a “new word” that contradicts Scripture, run fast and run far.

How can you protect yourselves against such wolves?
Know your Bible. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that we need to listen to our Preachers, teachers, and so on. We need to be so deeply ingrained in the fellowship and teachings of Scripture in our church, that we grow up strong and vigilant against such evil.

In ancient China, gem merchants often took on apprentices to study the craft of selecting, cutting and selling rare stones. One young man came to a master craftsman requesting to become an apprentice. The craftsman agreed and asked him to come back the next day. The following day, the apprentice arrived and was given a ruby and told to sit in the corner and hold it. Throughout the day that was all he did. He did the same thing the next day.. and the next… and the next. After a couple of weeks, the apprentice complained and asked why he was being treated this way. The craftsman wordlessly placed a stone in the young man’s hand at which the apprentice said “That’s not a ruby.” He had learned to know the authentic from the fake by constant exposure to the real thing.

I can’t say it enough and I won’t quit saying it. You cannot grow in Christ without a regular time in the Word. You need to be learning Scripture. There are those out there trying to steal your soul.. at the very least, mislead you to keep from sharing Him with others.  Plug in!  Not for the sake of a church but for the sake of Christianity in America today.



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