Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits—Matthew 7:15,16
We might think of the number of tragedies that might be avoided when the sheep become much better at discerning spirits, spotting false teachers and wanna-be prophets. Become much better at being spiritually alert and sensitive as Jesus instructed his disciples to be.
How many disastrous and even dangerous relationships would be avoided. How many friendships would never be struck and started. How many would never end up in churches that seem to be based on true, biblical principles but in fact are only Satan’s attempts to duplicate what God designed and Christ instituted.
A frightening, but true fact is that far too often the sheep of God’s care are too gullible, not as discerning as they need to be, and the enemy will enter in without notice. Not until he has done considerable damage is he recognized for who he is: a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The wolves—Satan and his devils—are so desperate to infiltrate the precious flock of God they will do anything to pull it off, even if it means disguising as one of them! They say the right things, look innocent enough, seem eager and dedicated enough, know the Bible well enough, even participate in the sacraments, attend the classes; yet they are not real sheep, only imposters and full of danger, discord and a strategy that has a plan for destruction on every level.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing do not want to be transformed into true sheep, they cannot be really, unless they would be willing to shed their outer garment and turn over their interior to the Shepherd. Alas, their dark heart and wicked nature will not allow them to leave their true master and god. They belong to another commander and army and have pledged themselves to the one who leads and fills them. They only enter with the intent to scatter, create discord, and destroy the sacred environment and life of the sheep.
The Shepherd knows his sheep, and each one by name, and he knows when there is one among them that is really a wolf from the enemy camp but has put on sheep’s clothing. If the sheep listen to the Shepherd, follow his lead, do not think they know more than him, let their heart be their guide, become fully submitted to the shepherd’s leadership and wisdom they will not be ravaged or eternally damaged.
It is the Good Shepherd’s faithful nature to warn and protect the sheep in his care, to expose the imposter. All the sheep need to do is trust him with all their heart and soul, stay close to his teachings, and follow his lead.
God, grant us the ability to spot out wolves in sheep’s clothing, to recognize that wolf, that is only a devil in disguise and more than this, to follow the Shepherd’s lead when it comes to dealing with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Protect us from those who would devour us and have infiltrated the sheepfold, grazing in the same pasture and difficult to differentiate with the untrained eye. Shine light on our darkness dear Shepherd. Amen.