Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: False Teachers
A false teacher wants to create uncertainty in their listeners. In order to gain followers, they must persuade their audiences that they possess knowledge those in the audience lack. The people who accept this misleading information as absolute truth will usually return to the false teacher for more. Having followers strokes the ego of the false teacher and provides “proof” that they are right. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing!
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)(Matthew 7:15)
Life & Teachings
The life and teachings of a false teacher revolve around self-indulgence. They use alluring and deceitful ideas that cater to the desires of their audience. Seeking signs and wonders is also a manifestation of this fleshly nature. These teachers may even allow activities that go against what is written in Scripture. However, it’s important to note that the Holy Spirit operates in a gentle manner and doesn’t resort to violence. Some deceivers may even twist the concept of God’s grace to promote a life without boundaries, but Paul refutes this idea by emphasizing that believers have already died to sin and should no longer live in it. (Rom. 6:2)
The deceptive false teacher is likened to a wolf in sheep’s clothing in Matthew 7:15. Despite appearing to have a genuine interest in sharing the truth about God, their interpretation of Scripture may be riddled with falsehoods or a distorted version of the truth. However, wise believers who study God’s Word can detect when the false teacher’s facade begins to slip. The wolf is further exposed by their personal life, which will not align with righteousness (Matt. 7:16). Through a careful examination of their decisions, actions, and words, it becomes evident that they do not adhere to the Lord’s will or biblical principles.
The New Testament writers cautioned against deceptive teachings that may appear appealing but contradict the truth (2 Tim. 4:3; 1 John 4:1). It is crucial for present-day believers to take these warnings seriously. Dishonest leaders have a way of distorting the truth so convincingly that even those who are unprepared, including leaders, can be misled by their falsehoods. This is why the Bible advises us to scrutinize the words of anyone who seeks to guide us (Matt. 7:20). (Matt. 7:20)
Some things may not be immediately clear and may require patience to discern. According to Matthew 7:17, the presence of fruit may be necessary for clarity. It is important to keep in mind that individuals guided by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) will not exhibit unstable or unusual behavior. Instead, they will display strength in their faith and a sound mind, while also embodying love and power. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Beware unholy mixtures. It is important to be cautious of mixing with individuals who do not uphold moral values. This includes teachers, preachers, musicians, and singers. While some may be talented in their craft, it does not necessarily mean they have the presence of the Ruach (Holy Spirit). Talent can be used for entertainment purposes, but it does not have the power to transform hearts. Those who follow the teachings of the New Testament are called to lead others to Yeshua Messiah, not simply to entertain. If you find yourself in a situation where this is occurring, it is best to leave quietly.
When confronted, we must be prepared to defend our faith with Scripture we have studied for ourselves. Regularly reading, praying, and applying God’s Word will prepare us better when confronted with untruth. We need to speak this truth, in love, to those that are being deceived! It is up to them if they receive this truth or not. Recently, I tried to lovingly caution someone about a meeting they were going to attend. Their response was anger…anger that I would even think anything would be wrong or out of order in the meetings. What I warned about was later proven to be true.
Our duty is to speak in accordance with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Yet, we are not accountable for the response of the individual who receives our caution or warning. That responsibility lies solely between them and God. We are solely accountable for our own actions and words, while the other person must take responsibility for what they choose to do with the knowledge we provide. It is essential that we pray for” the eyes of their understanding to be opened”. (Ephesians 1:18.)
It is more difficult for those who have a sound doctrine and decrement to be led astray. That’s why it is so important for our faith to rest on biblical truth! Defeating false teachers takes more than just “ Pastor says.” Go home and check out the accuracy of what your Pastor is saying. If you see a difference in what the Pastor said and what Scripture says then make an appointment to discuss it with the Pastor.
When we have a sound Biblical base it protects us from misleading messages and arms us to defend the faith. Do not be caught unprepared or allow yourself to be deceived. If you haven’t already started, begin to study the Bible today. Should you need help, ask your pastor or a godly mentor for guidance.
Yeshua’s followers are encouraged to use Scripture as a benchmark for evaluating the behavior and speech of believers and leaders. By seeking divine guidance, we can discern between holy messages and lifestyles, versus those that are misleading and unholy. It is important that we safeguard ourselves and caution others about individuals who may appear harmless but are actually deceptive. In other words, they are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”!
Scriptures to Ponder
Look up and study the Scripture verses within the text of the message as well as the ones below.
Acts 20:29 ~ I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock
Matthew 10:16 ~ Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
Tim 4:3 ~ For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
1 Timothy 4:4 ~ They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
1 John 4:1 ~ Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
©2023 revised HHCMI
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