Have you ever wondered about the following expression found in Scripture, “Wolves dressed up in sheep’s clothing.”? I have been pondering this for some time. Let’s examine 2 passages from Scripture.
Matthew 7:15 ““Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves . ” 16 “By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? ” 17 “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. ” 18 “A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. ” 19 “Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. ” 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. ” (emphases added)
Acts 20:28 Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of Messiah Y’shua which he purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I didn’t cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears. 32 Now, brothers, I entrust you to Elohim, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver, or gold, or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me. 35 In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Master Y’shua, that he himself said, “‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”” (emphases added)
First, doesn’t the expression “wolves in sheep’s clothing” create quite an image? Just from this imagery alone, we see a predator disguised as a sheep! Since he is a predator, he doesn’t answer to the Shepherd. The wolf answers to our enemy ha satan. So why this examination of the wolf? We are at war and in any battle we need to discern the motives of the enemy and what he is trying to do. A good soldier knows this and that is why a military strategist will spend hours dissecting the enemy’s motives and strategies. So have we identified a strategy yet? Yes, as we’ve identified a wolf does not answer to our great Shepherd Y’shua. Therefore, his goal is to undermine the sheep’s precious relationship with our Messiah. Second, they are false prophets hiding among the sheep with appetite’s seeking to devour the non-discerning. Another verse can lend more insight, “For the whole Torah is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you don’t consume one another.” (Galatians 5:15) So could spiritual entities hide in the sheep as wolves? So if we don’t remove them, they will manifest toward brothers or sisters attempting to consume relationships by planting discord among the brethren. I think we are getting an interesting picture.
Finally let’s discuss the Acts previously quoted which will assist us to complete the picture. Paul’s exhortation in Acts 20 warns that vicious wolves will come in and will not spare the flock. They will be among us speaking perverse things. Don’t these evil entities speak perversely to each of us in our daily battle against the prince of the power of the air? We must remember our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). In the Acts 20 passage, it appears that these wolves also operate in a spirit of covetousness. Paul’s context explains how he has not coveted anyone’s material possessions. We can conclude that Paul is giving warning that this spirit is a taker (craving to please self) and not a giver.
We are at war. These ravenous wolves are in us! They have disguised themselves by taking up residence in sheep. We must remove them. We cannot remove them in anyone else, but ourselves. I pray that your eyes are open to who the enemy is and that you will eradicate his influence over your lives. I will end this with an exhortation from Paul to Timothy.
No soldier on duty entangles himself in the affairs of life, that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier. Also, if anyone competes in athletics, he isn’t crowned unless he has competed by the rules. The farmers who labor must be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Master give you understanding in all things. II Timothy 2:4-7
Be strong and fight the good fight!
Tzefanyah ben Yochanon
Chazak Chazak v’nitchazek
Let us be strong, let us be strong and let us strengthen (encourage) one another!