Summary: Just a little message for a warning to the church of today.
Beware of the Wolves Matthew 7:15-16 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? Matthew 7:22-23 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. Have you ever walked up to a house to knock on the door. You seen a sign “Beware of dog”? What do you do? You stop right away. Imagine a sign “Beware of wolf”! I think you would do a double-take. Jesus says, “Beware of wolves, false prophets within the church. For they have disguised themselves in sheep’s clothing.” Now when Jesus says beware. Don’t you think we ought to beware? These wolves are both dangerous & deceptive. We cannot be wise & not beware. WARNINGS Many times warnings have gone unheeded. The captain of the Titanic received a message that they were entering iceberg-laden waters. Yet shoved the message into his pocket & 1,490 people went to a watery grave. On
December 7, 1941, Sergeant Joseph Lockhart, sitting at the radar at Pearl Harbor. He reported unidentified aircraft approaching. His commanding officer said “Forget it,” & 3,000 of America’s best perished that day.
If ever a generation needed to be warned about false prophets. It is this one. False prophets have honeycombed this world with deceptive teaching. Our Lord said in Matthew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders insomuch that if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect." Sometimes Satan comes against the church by persecution. But when persecution won’t work. He has a better way & that is infiltration. A great danger to today’s church is the infiltration of false prophets wearing sheep’s clothing. The apostle Paul warned, in 1 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." Satan is the captain of camouflage, the master of deceit. Repeatedly the Bible warns us of false prophets.
1. BEWARE THE FLEECE THEY WEAR All of them will be wearing sheepskin, appearing to be part of the flock. But pull back the sheepskin & it will reveal the wolf beneath.
A. Some will pervert the gospel. 1 John 1:7b 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.
B. Those who pervert the gospel are false prophets. Some will prostitute the gospel. Like the prophet Balaam. They’re trying to serve God & rake 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 “P-R-O-F-I-T.” They may stand up & preach the blood. But they sell it the way Madison Avenue sells cars. "They peddle the word of God." 2 Corinthians 2:17
2. BEWARE THE FRUIT THEY BEAR Matthew 7:16-19 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. You will know them by their fruits. How do you judge a preacher? Not merely by what he preaches but 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.
3. BEWARE THE FAITH THEY SHARE “Not everyone that saith unto Me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 7:21 They have spiritual activity without scriptural authority. In spite of their profession, preaching, power, or performance. They never knew the Lord Jesus Christ, & He never knew them. They haven’t lost their salvation. They never had it. What they do, they do through the power of the great deceiver. Satan himself. 4. STAND ON GOD’S WORD Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. How do you recognize a false prophet? If what he says does not square with the word of God. Then he is a false prophet. Study the faith, & you won’t be drawn into a false cult. Get a bulldog grip on the word of God. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you. Beware! Don’t put your faith in anyone else. For if you do you’ll be fodder for ravenous wolves. Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Matthew 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.