...So they will be called oaks of righteousness... Isaiah 61:3
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Is The Teacher A Shepherd Or A Wolf?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Over the past few years I have diligently studied the Sermon on the Mount. In fact this study led me to write "The Blessed Life, Living Out The Sermon On The Mount." The Lord has allowed me to travel over the last year and teach through the material in the Sermon on the Mount in several churches. During these conferences there are many topics that draw a lot of interest. One of these topics is "Beware of False Prophets." During this study I attempt to show the people what Jesus meant when He told His disciples to "Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

What did Jesus mean by these words. The word "beware" means to be cautious or to let something be held in your mind. Jesus is teaching us something that we should hold in our mind. We must never lose what Jesus says about false prophets. It seems to me that false prophets are coming after true believers in a greater way than ever before. This should not be surprising to us as we move closer to the return of the Lord. Satan, the great deceiver, will do all he can to deceive the people of God. The "father of lies" is working deligently to fool and destroy those who have trusted Jesus.

Since that is the case, I want to simply deal with one thought Jesus gives us concerning false prophets. Notice in Matthew 7:15 Jesus tells us that false prophets "come to you". In other words a false prophet agressively comes after people. He does not wait for them to seek him out, he literally seeks out those whom he might deceive. This means the false prophet will be winsome and have an ability to draw people to himself. Friends, you want to remember that large crowds around a teacher do not necessarily mean that teacher is teaching the truth. He may be a false prophet who is coming after people. He is able to draw people to himself with keen abilities to communicate and express himself from a pulpit. Large crowds do not necessarily mean an annointing of the Lord.

This brings me to the primary thought I want to bring to your mind. What did Jesus mean when He said the false prophet would come to you in "sheeps clothing"? I believe that the words sheeps clothing refers to the clothing worn by a shepherd in Jesus day. The shepherds wore clothing made of sheep wool and skin. There was no doubt that one was a shepherd because they were dressed in "sheeps clothing". Jesus is telling us that a false prophet will come to people attempting to be their shepherd. He will deceivingly lead people to believe he wants to be a shepherd to them. He will aggressively lead them to believe that he is really the only shepherd they need. He will protect them. He will feed them. He will provide for them. But deep down this individual is a false prophet and not a shepherd at all.

In fact Jesus tells us we will know these people by their fruit. So when you are listening to one who is attempting to teach spiritual truth you want to listen very carefully. It you simply listen without thinking you may be fooled. If you just listen to the words one speaks and do not listen to the meaning of the words and the motive behind the words you may be listening to a false prophet and never realize that is the case. All of those who appear to be shepherds are not shepherds at all. The could be a wolf falsely leading you to believe they are a shepherd.

Jesus continued to say we will know false prophets by their fruit. Or you could say we will know them by what they produce. Look carefully at the life of everyone who teaches the Bible. What are they really producing with their life? Are they producing good fruit? Are they producing teaching that is truly beneficial? Be careful. False prophets are everywhere.

   
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