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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Savage Wolves

"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock ... savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves."
~ Acts 20:28-30 (NKJV)

"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheeps' clothing but inwardly are savage wolves. By their fruit you will know them."
~ Matthew 7:15-16 (ISV)

Paul and Jesus both warned of savage wolves, or false teachers, within the church. Jesus described them with the Greek harpax (greedy, extortionist). Paul called them barus (burdensome).

Two unbiblical extremes within the church are burdensome legalism, and a message which exalts prosperity but carries a burden of doubt. The former is more likely to appear in traditional churches, while vulnerable God-seekers are easily drawn in with the latter. Neither exalts dependence on Father, Son and Spirit.

Whether false teachers "come in" from outside or "rise up" from within, they do not feed the flock, but feed upon it. They use isolated nuggets of Scripture's truth to make their poison palatable. Good teachers are identified not by prosperity but by their fruit.

We must feed upon God's Word often, in church and outside church. Being familiar with the entire Bible shows us whether we're being fed by good shepherds or enticed by savage wolves.

Our Father, thank You for righteousness based not on deeds but upon hearts of faith. Good Shepherd, thank You for giving Yourself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Holy Spirit, thank You for enabling us to exalt God above ourselves when we have too long done the opposite. Holy God, make us fully dependent on You.

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy

1 comment:

  1. I praise You Lord for being my way, truth, and life.


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