Mat. 7:15, “Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening wolves”
Many times I’m asked what I think of another preacher. Sometimes I will answer with a detailed description, other times I’ll skirt around the issue, simply because I don’t trust the motivation of the asker. We have to assess the reason for the inquiry. If, for instance, a believer is looking for a place to worship then I must give them an honest answer why I would or wouldn’t recommend the pastor being inquired of. Lots of times I simply don’t know the pastor being asked about.
Sadly there are times when I have to take a stand against wolves in sheep’s clothing. These, to the believer who has studied to show themselves “approved”, (2nd Timothy 2:15), will most times not have much trouble in seeing the wolf in the midst of the wool because the spirit of God will cry out against them. Here consider Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12. Here we see that “the prudent forseeth the evil, but the simple pass on and are punished”. We must pause and ask ourselves, who are the prudent? God wanted us to know so much that He made sure it was put in print two times! This scripture reference isn’t speaking specifically of wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. However, I believe we can apply it here.
To be thoroughly furnished (2nd Timothy 3:17) then requires the Christian to be skilled in hearing what God wants us to understand and pass on as spiritual food for the “sheep”. You must however never forget that you also are a “sheep”. It will help you to better serve. So we must learn to recognize the wolf. The wolf also may not even be aware consciously that they are a wolf in the spiritual sense. They may be of the thought that God is really showering them with knowledge and blessings. (Example, easy believism).
The first thing we need to understand is that the wolf will not “spare the flock” (sheep), Acts 20:29. Wolves are everywhere, Matt. 10:16, is always hungry, Matt. 7:15, can in the world over power us, Luke 10:3, (though not in the spirit), do it all for “dishonest gain”, Ez,22:27. Finally in Matt 7:15, we see that they skillfully twist scripture to gain what they want, ie, “false prophets”. Dear Christian, if you know of someone who has some or all of these traits………..RUN! Get your spirit feet to moving. Don’t ever try and combat the wolf yourself. You must always allow Christ to fight with His sword, “which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). AMEN! The holy word of God is the only hope against the wolf.
I once had a wise old man, my grandfather, tell me when I told him I felt like God was calling me to preach that I should always preach what I know. Pretty good advice, wouldn’t you say? The next thing he said kept me thinking for a few days. He said for me to “beware” of sheep in wolf’s clothing. I thought at first he’d gotten it wrong. He however, assured me he had not gotten it wrong and that I should think on it awhile. I think on it still, now more than thirty years later.
Here let me say that a sheep who wears a wolf’s skin is none other than a carnal, or worldly Christian. So, therefore must be dealt with as a brother but not to doubtful disputations, Ro. 14,1. Consider 1st Cor. 3:1-4, here we see that a Christian can indeed wear wolf’s skin. Titus 2:12 tells us that we are to “deny ungodliness” (the wolf’s skin) and live “soberly” and “righteously” in this “present world”. Consider 2nd Peter, 2:7, here we find that Lot was declared “just” or justified however his soul was “vexed”. Let me say dear ones this is an absolute mark of a sheep in a wolf’s skin. They will always be vexed by the going ons of the wicked. We should always despise the works of darkness but to be vexed is to be pulled back and forth between issues not being sure of yourself. The Christian wearing a wolf’s skin will always have one foot in the world and unless they get out from the world will never amount to anything for God, that’s the sad part.
Sadly the Christian wearing the wolf’s skin will never fit in with spiritually strong Christians either. The Christian doing the will of God will always smell the wolf’s skin. Not so with the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They are not so easily identified, study to know the difference. The wolf will be among the sheep. However, the servant will see the difference, Matt. 13:27.
So brothers and sisters in the Lord, remember Eph, 6 : 10, ” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might ” and you won’t have any problem helping the Christian brother and sister to cast off the wolf’s skin.