Are you following a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Jesus continued to comfort His disciples before He died: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15: 11-13) Jesus had previously told them – “’I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.’” (John 10: 11) He then told them of a “hireling” – “’But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.’” (John 10: 12) Jesus had warned – “’Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.’” (Matt. 7: 15) The apostle John also warned – “’Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.’” (1 Jn. 4: 1)
No doubt many false prophets have gone out into the world. Any spiritual leader that has twisted or refashioned the truth about who Jesus is, and what He has done, is a false teacher. Any religious leader who creates another way to God is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. They often raise themselves up to the level of a god. Instead of wanting to help people to know and worship the true and living God, they want people to worship them. If you study their lives, you will often find great immorality. They justify various kinds of abuse of their followers through the self-delusion of how entitled by God they are to do what they want to do to people. No doubt, many of them would be considered narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. They often mix some form of false teaching with emotional manipulation in order to bring a person under their dark influence. Paul warned the Corinthians of those men in his day who were trying to undermine the true gospel message – “’For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.’” (2 Cor. 11: 13-14) These false teachers may outwardly have a reputation of respect. They may be honored for some great success, but a closer look at their lives will reveal darkness. Study the life of Joseph Smith, Muhammad, Taze Russell, Mary Baker Eddy, Helena Blavatsky, L. Ron Hubbard, and many others. Go to the historical sources that record their lives. More often than not, you will find many harmful things that they did to other people because they felt justified by God to do so. No doubt, many of them created faith systems and cults or cultures that highly honored or revered them. Their followers will sometimes justify heinous acts toward others when that leader is criticized, such as murders that have taken place because someone has criticized Muhammad. If you are a follower of a man or woman claiming to be divine, or divinely inspired, I would challenge you to do some outside research. Find out more about who you are following. The true and living God wants you to come to Him, and know Him. You can come into a relationship with God by trusting in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I challenge you to read the New Testament. Consider what it’s claim is. Seek to know for yourself the truth. Jesus said to His apostle Thomas – “’I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14: 6) If you are trying to please God by following any other way, you are going the wrong way. Jesus alone can give you eternal life. He alone paid the price for your sins.
David provided a Psalm of praise when the ark was returned to Jerusalem. In it he encouraged all people to turn to the God of Israel: “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among the peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.” (1 Chron. 16: 23-30a)
I challenge all people; Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, New Agers, etc. to consider that you may be following a false teacher, what they are teaching you may be false, and in reality you may be worshiping a false god made in the image of that teacher. Would you turn today to Jesus Christ. Come to Him and partake of the eternal life that only He can give you!