Letting God Speak for Himself
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15
Bible truths/words you never hear from wolves: Repent, obedience, the cross – crucified life, holiness, judgment, eternal hell, the lake of fire, being spotless and ready for Christ’s return, etc.
“Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.” Jeremiah 12:10-11
Were we not warned repeatedly to beware of those who would spoil us (ruin us eternally)?
PAUL GAVE LITTLE PLACE TO FALSE LEADERS (GALATIANS 2:4-5). THEY ARE TO BE IDENTIFIED, REBUKED, REJECTED, AND MARKED UNLESS THEY REPENT (ROMANS 16:17-18; TITUS 1:13).
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (devouring) wolves.” Matthew 7:15
The false leaders Christ speaks of here would have all the trappings of a true Christian leader so as not to be detected. But the true remnant cling to Christ and therefore His Word and are thereby able to discern (Ezekiel 44:23).
God’s Word informs us that Christ’s true servant-elders WILL TEACH God’s people to discern by weighing all against the standard of the Word of God (Ezekiel 44:23; Acts 17:10-11; 1 John 4:1, etc.). Therefore we know that any man in leadership not teaching people to discern between the holy and profane, between true and false, is himself a wolf!
“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” Ezekiel 44:23
For a moment, let’s explore what true ministry is so that we can see what is not true ministry. Perhaps one good definition of what true ministry is would be: Giving people God’s Word in order to endear them to Him by His very own words. Is not the divine Person of the Holy Spirit integrally involved in that exchange? Did He not orchestrate it?
Watch closely at what the elders of Israel did when they stood before the people:
“So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly (directly, literally), and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:8
Truly God-fearing servants of Christ get people into HIS Word so that they follow Him and not them – mere men. Note that in this important passage in Nehemiah 8, we see the principle for leadership: Leading the souls of men to Christ, not to self.
Those who flatter you by refusing to preach the absolute necessity of repenting, taking up the cross daily and following Jesus…. Are setting you up for the kill …. You may vainly believe that it’s all fun and games now but judgment is coming if you don’t repent and diligently study and adhere to the whole counsel of God’s Word. When you do truly repent, you will no long put yourself under a smooth talking wolf who refuses to preach the whole counsel of the original Gospel of Christ (Isaiah 30:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:2-4).
“A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.” Proverbs 29:5
All ministers who soft peddle and do not endeavor to unapologetically declare the whole counsel of God’s Word, are deceivers. Run.
One minister of Christ declared:
“People think that because I skin the brethren alive when I preach, that I’m not showing any love. That’s because they’ve been brainwashed by the glass toilet (the TV), and they respond to the tone of my voice much as my German Shepherd would. But I do love the brethren. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t preach against their sins. I would preach on coping and sharing and family values and let them hit a bonfire at the Judgment Seat of Christ.”
Think about how many people are promoting THEIR ministries and how much money is wasted on such trash.
“For THE LEADERS of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” Isaiah 9:16
Leaders who betray the LORD and His people.
Remember that according to the record of the Gospels, it was the wicked religious leaders, the Jews of Christ’s day, who betrayed the Son of God their KING to the Roman authorities, calling out for His crucifixion (Matthew 27; John 19, etc.).
The kingdom of God is not about mere men’s ministries or churches or church organizations. Reading the history of Israel and the New Testament plainly reveals that false leaders have done inestimable damage – they have done so very much to oust Christ right out of the hearts and minds of the people they are misleading while posing as those who are leading them in the ways of the LORD (Isaiah 9:16).
Today is no different – In fact we are told it will get even worse in these final days at the hands of deceivers (2 Timothy 3:13). Like the wolves of old who were constantly exposed by Israel’s prophets, modern beguilers are intercepting the heart affections and resources of those they have misled. Listen to God’s prophet Ezekiel:
“There is a conspiracy of her prophets (false leaders) in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening (devouring) the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening (devouring) the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.” Ezekiel 22:25-27
Ready to Magnify Christ?
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalms 34:3
The eternal kingdom of God is all about KING Jesus.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil (ruin) you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power … Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:6-10, 18, 19
Most men in ministry are “not holding the Head” of the body – Christ – and therefore have intercepted the affections of the people in order to exploit them to build their own ministry business.
Any leader who is not constantly doing every possible thing he can to get YOU into God’s Word for yourself, is an absolute wolf of the worst kind.
Revelation: People don’t need you and me – they need the LORD – and He reveals Himself through His Word.
Christ must be magnified, not mere men – “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6).
IT’S SO very important not to over aggrandize any mere man. We must rid our hearts of all idols (Ezekiel 14:3). The personality cults must be seen for what they really are and shunned by Christ’s true remnant. Think about the personalities so many (most) modern popular ministries are built upon? Think about the ingratiating, manipulative, and flamboyant personalities of circus clowns like Jesse Duplantis, Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren, and a host of other false leaders who have built their enterprises/empires on THEIR own personalities and telling people what THEIR unrepentant hearts want to hear instead of what God says in the full counsel of His Holy Word (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Others we could name are more subtle and yet nevertheless draw people to THEMSELVES, not Christ! This is robbery – robbing Christ of the glory due only to Himself.
The great apostle went out of his way – he made sure and steadfast provision – to never draw or entice the affections of men’s hearts to himself. That would be theft – high treason against Heaven. In the holy fear of God, Paul took great precaution not to endear the hearts of men to himself, a mere man, but rather he espoused them to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2-5). Listen to him:
Have you memorized the above verse yet?
“I Have Espoused You to … Christ”
Let’s again listen closely to the heart of Paul to the people of God, Christ’s messenger/apostle:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. 7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” 2 Corinthians 11:2-7
Paul espoused those he oversaw to Jesus, not to himself. He caused them to trust Christ through His blessed Word and invited others to compare what he taught to the Holy Scriptures (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:15-17). Is this what your pastor is doing?
In a recent conversation with my friend Tim, he was edified to hear the encouragement that every time he gets someone into the Word of God for themselves, he is doing much more than most pastors or “Christian” authors who make people dependent upon them – so that they get repeat customers for their business.
Are you in the Word daily friend?
How can God’s Word get into you if you don’t get into it?
Are you drawing and remaining close to the Savior in this late hour like the wise virgins who kept the oil of His presence in their lamp of their lives and were therefore ready when He returned? (Matthew 25:1-13)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (abundantly) in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16
Sign up here for free email to help you learn discernment and God’s Word.