Summary: expounding on the Lord’s warning to beware of false prophets
What Big Teeth You Have
Text: Matthew 7:15-23
By: Ken L. McKinley
Now the context of our text is the Sermon on the Mount. In verses 13 and 14 Jesus tells us that the road to destruction is broad, but the way of life is narrow, it is a narrow gate, and then He immediately give a warning about false prophets.
He says that these false prophets are dressed in sheep’s clothing but they are really wolves in disguise. In other words, they might look like Christians and talk like Christians; they might know all the lingo, but the reality is that they are not preaching and teaching the true gospel. You see, truth matters, what you believe can send you to hell just as easily as what you believe can send you to heaven.
Now when we think of prophecy in the Bible we think of someone who predicts a future event. I remember in the early 1980’s when television preachers were telling their viewers that these false prophets that Jesus warns about were the 1-900 psychic hotlines. But there was a problem with that, the 1-900 psychic hotlines didn’t come in sheep’s clothing. Even to the unlearned Christian it was obvious that those so called psychics were not trying to appear Christians, and to my knowledge they never claimed to be Christians. But Jesus says that these false prophets come in sheep’s clothing, that they appear (at least outwardly) to be Christians, and it isn’t until closer examination that they are discovered to be wolves. What’s interesting is that a lot of those television preachers of the 1980’s ended up going to prison for various reasons, like embezzlement, fraud, and other inappropriate behaviors.
But a prophet in the Bible was more than just a fortune teller. They were men who spoke for the Lord. They were the messengers, and their message was “Thus saith the Lord!” And so Jesus isn’t speaking about the obviously non-Christian palm readers, or psychic hot line operators, He’s speaking about men who stand up and claim that they are speaking, preaching, and teaching God’s word.
I happen to know a man who preaches at a certain charismatic church. This particular preacher had gone to particular charismatic camp meeting with his wife, where a so called prophet was to be ministering. This so called prophet began “prophesying” and he happened to tell this particular preacher that God was calling him to missionary work in Africa. The so called prophet then laid hands upon the preachers’ wife and “prophesied” over her telling her that she was to remain where she was at, and that God had the perfect mate for her. You see the pastors’ wife had washed dishes earlier and had forgotten to put her wedding ring back on, and so apparently this so called prophet assumed that she was a single woman. Before this so called prophet made these so called prophesies he had spoke long and hard about how he was moved to prophesy by the Spirit of God. But let me tell you the Holy Spirit doesn’t make those kinds of mistakes. In-fact He doesn’t make any mistakes.
Jesus is saying in our text that false prophets are dangerous. He calls them ravenous wolves. In other words, they will devour you if you are not on your guard. Not too long ago my family and I went to Sea World in San Antonio, but before we left we packed out tent as my wife wanted to save money by camping. Now I’ve probably been camping well over 100 times, but my wife and children have never been, it was going to be the first time for them. So we drove for most the day and finally found a place that allowed camping, a beautiful canyon in Texas, and the fees for campsites went from $30 to $10, and I being of pure penny pinching Scottish ancestry, decided that a campsite is a campsite and paid for the $10 area. By the time we drove down the desolate trail to this area, it was already getting dark, and by the time I got the tent set up and a fire started it was very dark. Well my girls wanted to roast weenies and marsh mellows so I pulled out my paratrooper knife and began cutting branches, but it was dark and I accidentally cut my hand. MariJo doctored me up and we ate weenies and marsh mellows and turned in for the night. Well, a few moments passed by and lo and behold our campsite was surrounded by wolves. We could hear them walking around outside the tent, and one of them even sniffed MariJo’s head through the canvas of the tent, but it wasn’t until I tried to scare them away by pushing the panic button on our SUV and we heard a menacing growl that we decided to leave the area. So I put my family in the SUV, packed up the tent with my pistol close by and we stayed in a motel. We saw a total of five wolves I believe that night, all around our campsite. They had apparently smelled the blood from my wound and the weenies and were hungry enough to come to our desolate $10 campsite and check things out.