Mathew 7:15-23 says, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Jesus warned against false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves. You are given a hint on them by the Lord Jesus Christ by observing their fruits.
The Apostle Paul also warned us against them in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14,” For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
Have you ever walked up to a house to knock on the door and saw a sign “Beware of dogs”? You stop right away. Imagine a sign “Beware of wolves”! I think you would do a double-take. We ought to beware because the wolves in the church are both dangerous and deceptive, and warnings have often gone unheeded. The captain of the Titanic received a message that they were entering iceberg-laden waters but shoved the message into his pocket, and 1,490 people went to a watery grave. False prophets have honeycombed this world with deceptive teaching as Jesus Christ had warned in Mathew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders inasmuch that if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect.”
Beware of the Fleece They Wear
All of them will be wearing sheepskins, appearing to be part of the flock, but pull back the sheepskin, and it will reveal the wolf beneath. Some will pervert the gospel.
1 John 1:7 says, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.” Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. The blood is neither incidental nor accidental. A false prophet will offer another way. Works, not grace. Culture, not Calvary. Faith in works rather than faith in the blood. Some will prostitute the gospel, like the prophet Balaam, who tried to serve God and take off a few profits on the side. Balaam didn’t pervert the gospel, but he was apostate. He was orthodox but greedy. Many false prophets trim their messages for personal gain, popularity or power. They spell prophet as “P.R.O.F.I.T.” They may stand up and preach the blood, but they sell it the way vendors sell cars and peddle the word of God (2 Corinthians 2:17).
Bear the Fruit They Bear
You will know them by their fruits. Judge a preacher not merely by what he preaches but by what he produces. The devil cannot continue the deception forever because the fruit is going to emerge. What’s the mark of a man of God? The people who know Jesus because of him.
Beware the Faith They Share
Mathew 7:21 says, “Not everyone that says unto Me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” They have spiritual activity without scriptural authority. Yet, despite their profession, preaching, power, or performance, they never knew the Lord Jesus Christ, and He never knew them. They haven’t lost their salvation – they never had it; what they do, they do through the power of the deceiver, Satan himself.
Stand on God’s Word
We recognize false prophets by what they say, which does not square with the word of God. Study their faith, and you won’t be drawn into a false cult. Instead, study the word of God. Get a bulldog grip on the word of God and let the Holy Spirit speak to you. Beware! Don’t put your faith in anyone else, or you’ll be fodder for ravenous wolves.
In summary, false apostles are deceitful workers, dangerous for the body of Christ, disgusting as angels of Christ. Satan is the captain of camouflage, the master of deceit, and repeatedly, the Bible warns us of his dirty tricks. As one writer puts it, being good is not to know the difference between white and black, but rather, knowing the difference between white and almost white.
Prayer & Meditation
May God give you a Spirit of discernment so that you don’t fall into wolves in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen.
By Gilbert Magomere Ayieko (Kenya)