‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves, you will know them by their fruits.’ ~ Matt 7:15-16
Many theologians point these verses at christian fanatacism. Citing the Benny Hinn’s and John Hagee’s of the world as their intended target, i.e. the abuse of giftings in the area of healing, signs and wonders, or of prosperity. While still others cite occult-like doctrines that are way out in the stratosphere. However, I disagree with them both and here is why:
In order to take a closer look at this, let’s take a look at four major points, the word false, the word prophet, the term ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing, and the term inwardly.
False: not accurate; not true; in error; incorrect; wrong; mistaken; untruthful; lying; dishonest; false witness; disloyal; unfaithful; deceiving; meant to deceive; misleading; not real; sham; artificial; counterfeit – Webster’s dictionary.
Prophet: A religious teacher or leader regarded as or claiming to be divinely inspired; or a person who predicts future events in any way. – Webster’s dictionary.
Ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing: Far from being easy to discern, this describes both an elaborate and effective disguise. Notice the word inwardly; suggesting that whatever is wrong with this particular pastor/ person / teacher / ministry is hidden from sight by means of elaborate falsehood.
My point is this, if the deceptions spoken of in these verses were as easy to discern as occult doctrines, false healers, or prosperity teaching; surely Jesus would have made that clear.
My friends there is only one teaching that could produce the level of deception Jesus warns against in these verses! And there is only one message that could seem so right and yet be so wrong. And that teaching, that message is works righteousness; the co-mingling of the Old and the New Covenant; simultaneously teaching law and grace; ultimately holding the saints captive to the law.
Please pray for those held captive by legalistic teaching! That they may know God in grace! Pray also for those teaching law; that they may truly see God as He is and stop! God bless you all!