Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing
Today is our final day of the “Truth in Love” Series. Thank you for wrestling out the hard stuff with me here. It has been a joy to see so many of you willing to dig deeper.
Today we conclude with the topic of wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is a hard topic because those who deceive the church do not have pointy horns or a red jumpsuit with a pitchfork. They are smooth. Their words are desirable. They worm their way into homes and trick gullible women. Look at what 2 Timothy 3:6 & 7 says…
“They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Ugh – does that passage really say – women? Yes, it says — “gullible women”. Women who are always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of truth.
This sounds like the day in age we live in. Women are so intelligent. We are highly educated…but education does not equal wisdom, discernment nor coming to the knowledge of truth.
As followers of Christ, we need to be sharp women! We need to be alert. We need to read God’s word, memorize God’s word, study it line by line…then compare every preacher, blogger (including me), author and speaker line by line to God’s word. When we know God’s word we will easily detect error.
If we do not know God’s word…we will be gullible and carried by the winds of opinion and culture rather than standing firm on scripture.
Read what Jesus had to say about the wolves in Matthew 7:15-23:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Jesus says, there will be those who did mighty works in God’s name but God will say “I never knew you; depart from me.” This shows me that even those who are deceiving — have deceived themselves!
Do you see that speaking the truth in love may actually help the deceiver? At first they may hate us – but in the end – it will save their souls from damnation!
These wolves are the reason that unity can be so difficult to attain within the church body. These wolves divide and lead the flock astray because they are not sheep. They are truly workmen and servants of Satan.
Look at 2 Corinthians 11:13-15:
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
These wolves disguise themselves as sheep just as Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
John Piper writes:
Let me just mention one feature to watch out for in the recognition of wolves. As I have watched the movement from biblical faithfulness to liberalism in persons and institutions that I have known over the years, this feature stands out: An emotional disenchantment with faithfulness to what is old and fixed, and an emotional preoccupation with what is new or fashionable or relevant in the eyes of the world.
Let’s try to say it another way: when this feature is prevalent, you don’t get the impression that a person really longs to bring his mind and heart into conformity to fixed biblical truth. Instead you see the desire to picture biblical truth as unfixed, fluid, indefinable, distant, inaccessible, and so open to the trends of the day.
So what marks a possible wolf-in-the-making is not simply that he rejects or accepts any particular biblical truth, but that he isn’t deeply oriented on the Bible. He is more oriented on experience. He isn’t captured by the great old faith once for all delivered to the saints. Instead he’s enamored by what is new and innovative.
In conclusion, love matters. Without it we are just clanging cymbals. (I Corinthians 13:1)
Truth matters. Without it we will be deceived and led astray.
Grace matters. Grace is a virtue – but grace does not equal silence. Silence is not a virtue.
Romans 12:9 says “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
Sincere love has hate in it. Sincere love hates evil.
Over the course of my 6 years of blogging, I have detected some lies in the midst. It has caused me to lose friendships, opportunities and face much heartache whenever I have chosen to speak against falsehood. But no cost is too great – label me intolerant, judgmental or whatever else you’d like. I love God and I love people and out of my love for God and people, I am compelled to hold fast to truth.
Let’s persevere in lifting the name of God higher until he returns or takes us home.
“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7
Walk with the King,
**Next week I will announce the new summer series for Women Living Well! I can’t wait to share it with you!!**
**Previous Posts from this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
With so much access to speaking through blogs/FB/Twitter we need to be as cautious as ever with what we allow ourselves to read and believe. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 – Test everything. Hold on to the good. We are wise to test everything we read and only receive what is Biblical. Thanks for this series, Courtney! I’m excited to hear what the summer series will be!
Cooking Up Faith
Cooking up faith — you spoke my words ;). Courtney, blessings to you, stay in the truth, I have been blessed by God’s truth.
It is getting scarier and scarier to speak the Truth because those who oppose us can be so vicious, but we need to always remember that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. Better to lose friends, readers, etc. than to lose the Lord saying to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.” Nothing is more important than pleasing our Savior.
Lori, I really appreciate our comment – just as much as I appreciate Courtney’s blog, in fact. Thank you for your reminder to be bold. I needed that today.
Very good post. I will say, I was a little skeptical of you, when I “stumbled” upon your blog a month ago. “Skeptical”, only in the sense, that I wasn’t sure if you were a woman of compassion or just a person that likes to stir the pot and cause controversy. I am glad that I waited to and came back to your blog, to get an understanding of your heart. It is clear that you are a mighty woman of God, that will stand firm with Him. I love that you rely on the word of God, to support the topic. I LOVE everything about the word of God, and it is clear that you do too. It’s hard to know in blogging if the person writing is coming from a place of self-righteous judgement, or a place of compassion and firm truth, but you have sold me on this post when you stated, that even we should use the word of God to compare even your very own words. That is so true, basically saying “Don’t take my word for it, go to the Living Word yourself, taste and see of His goodness, truth, and love for yourself, and you can start in your very own Bible.” lol Anyways, blessings to you and I pray that, when you are hurt by some unkind remarks and loss of friendships, that you still stand firm in an Almighty God.
This is so good! Thank you for putting into words something that I have been thinking about a lot lately! I found myself nodding in agreement to so much of this. This attitude, of emotional preoccupation with the new and fashionable is so prevalent and I didn’t even recognize that until I “entered” the blogosphere several years ago. It’s everywhere you look, and we must stay connected to God’s wisdom to stay on track!
I thank God for your faithfulness to sharing His Word. We are instructed to watch over our souls and to watch the character of those who we allow to influence us. Knowing God’s word is the one way we can know whether someone is of God or not.
Thank you for this series Courtney, I have found it really encouraging to become more confident in speaking up for the truth (in love!) 🙂
Thank you so much for your courage and the wisdom you share. I am usually skeptical, but I’ve been following your blog for probably a year or so now, and you have always been so transparent. It was clear from the beginning that you are a woman after God’s heart and you have helped me immensely in more ways than I could list. Thank you so much!
Thank you for this series and for speaking the truth. I have enjoyed each and every post.
When I’ve contemplated these verses in the past several months (I studied Matthew all year in another Bible study), I can’t help but worry. I’ve never been a worrier because I try to trust God in all things, but lately I’ve lost the desire to be in His Word, go to church or Bible study, or even remember to pray. I used to have an insatiable hunger for these things, but I’m definitely in a funk of some kind. Is this God testing me, or is He allowing Satan to tempt me in this way? I’m confused. Can a devoted believer in a dry spell really be or become a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Just writing this brings tears and makes me want God’s forgiveness and my repentance. I know I need the Holy Spirit in me to make it happen. I feel like I need a hand to hold onto on my journey back. Thank you, Courtney, for writing on this topic, and thank You Lord for showing me, with the help of Your Word, the Holy Spirit within, and others, the journey leads me back to that deeper relationship with You we used to share.
The very fact that you’re sorry and want to be repentant shows that you want to be restored back to fellowship with God. When we come to God from a place of ‘true’ heartfelt repentance, we can pray to Him unashamedly. God will heal and restore our Joy we once shared with Him.
If we are truly converted and go through these times, we don’t lose our Salvation, but we do lose the ‘Joy’ of our Salvation – like when king David asked God to restore him (Psalm 51:12). Let us keep it our aim to rise up in Faith and Strength in the Lord at all times!
We can all go through dry ‘wilderness’ spells and battles with our flesh – especially during difficult times in our life.
My view is; – that a wolf in sheep’s clothing is usually someone who knows the Truth of God’s Word, but wants to conceal it and deliberately make alterations to what the Bible really says; they normally have a hidden agenda.
The devil for example no doubt knows the Word of God better than any human here on earth because of his supernatural powers, although his powers are limited – that’s why he is there in churches every week to deceive people from coming to know the true Savior Jesus!
Thanks! I’ve enjoyed all of your geaphics too! : )
Thank you for this series of posts. I have been very encouraged by them and love that you simply used the Word of God to make the point.
Love this blog! I have felt a strong urgency that we are losing Holiness in our churches and God’s people. I will pray for you to continue to stay strong and speak God’s true words.
Thank you for all the effort and courage that you have shown over this journey for truth, that you have taken us on. I have looked forward to each Monday. God bless you and your home.
I love your post!! It is so wonderful to see and hear a woman stand up for God and holiness and not be ashamed! I look forward to my emails of Women Living Well. May the Lord Bless and Keep You!
Thank you for your wisdom on this topic, you opened my eyes to better discern this area myself.
Wow! This is a very empowering post Courtney! It really challenges me to be bold in my faith without feeling as though I’m judging someone. Rather, I am helping them. I also love how you note that silence is not a virtue. Love ya, Nelle
Thank you Courtney for always speaking the truth no matter what !!!
Thank You for always pointing us to what Gods word says. May we deny everything and everyone in conflict w His word…His word is our final check point. ….Stay the course…. May God continue to bless and keep you and your family.
I know this is an older post, but it was so good that I had to comment. I think there so many “ravenous wolves” in the churches. And on YouTube! But we will never recognize bad teaching if we do not know the Word. Thank you for the excellent article.
Blessings to all.
Im greatful for finding this blog through the Spirit of God.
He knows my seeking is His Kingdom.Its an old post,but it shows His words stands forever and never loose Power or gets old.
Thank you for sharing.
God bless you all.much love