Monday, January 18, 2010

Beware of False Prophets in Church Member Clothing!

One of the joys of my life is blogging.  I enjoy sharing life from a Christian perspective as I learn, live, and grow as a follower of Christ.  My heart is to be an encouragement to people.  Not just Christ-followers...but people in general.  I truly believe that every principle of God benefits anyone who is willing to employ them.  Eventually God's principles point people to Christ...and prayerfully...a relationship with Him.

It is never my desire to ruffle anyone's feathers even though sometimes that happens.  I am convinced that the truth ultimately sets a person free if they will apply it (Jesus said it would!).    So...I will share my heart on this subject of "False Prophets (Wolves) in Church Member's Clothing".  If you a church member please don't be offended because there's a very small possibility that I am talking about you.  The purpose of this post is to alert you to the existence of wolves in the church dressed as church members and how to recognize and respond to their presence!

Jesus tells us to ""Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."  (Matt. 7: 15)  Jesus' analogy involves wolves disguised as sheep.  Let me be very, very clear that when I (like Jesus) mention the words "false prophets" it has absolutely nothing to do with people who are called by God to fill the office of the prophet.  Jesus makes it clear He is talking about false prophets.  (People who appear as one thing, but are really something else.)    Wolves have only one destroy.  This motivation is born out of an inward drive to please "self".  "It's my way or the highway!"  A wolf will come into a relationship or into a church (or exist in a church) appearing to love God and live a holy life.  They appear to be full of wisdom and love (and will tell you so.)  However the only validation they can offer is what comes out of their mouth and/or their faithful attendance.  In God's eyes and according to His Word this is not enough.  God's Word says, "The ways of man are open to the eyes of the Lord."  In other words, God sees all...even when people only see or hear a small part.  A wolf speaks, acts, and even dresses as a sheep...but they are not sheep.  They may actually believe they are...but they are not.

How to recognize a wolf in sheep's clothing:
  • In public, before others they appear holy, but in private they are not.
  • In many cases false tears and false humility are used to persuade other unsuspecting genuine sheep.
  • Due to insecurities a wolf builds himself/herself up in the presence of others.  
  • Because of an unwillingness to confront personal issues they carry negative baggage from relationship to relationship and from place to place.
  • They are usually church-hoppers.  They stay and commit only until challenged or confronted by spiritual authority.  Then they head for greener pastures spreading strife as they go.
  • A wolf disguised as a sheep will infect other unsuspecting sheep with gossip and negative information about anyone who has confronted/challenged and thus offended them.
There are more characteristics to look for but these are some of the most common.  A wolf disguised as a sheep will make attempts to befriend other sheep in order to gather a following.  Then when they become offended over the Word, it is very, very difficult for true sheep to perceive the truth of what's really going on.  Most sheep will support the wolf because they don't want to offend their friend.  It's alarming to know that in most cases wolves deceive the sheep into making decisions based on the friendship rather than God's Word.  God's truth is actually ignored!

You see the effect of wolves (disguised as sheep) in the church all the time.  Churches are being destroyed.  Churches split.  The most damaging effect of not recognizing wolves disguised as sheep is that the work of God is delayed, deferred, or simply destroyed.  I admit this is quite negative but it is the truth.  I am sure you will agree, it is time to equip ourselves to recognize the characteristics of the wolves dressed as sheep.  It's time that God's word, His heart, and His principles be applied instead of man's selfish motives.  Peter said these words in I Peter 5: 8, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  I encourage you to stop looking for fire-breathing monsters, spitting out threats and obscenities to God's people.  Instead look for wolves dressed up in sheep's clothing.  Look for wolves dressed up in church member's clothing!

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