Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing (Part I)
by Carl Parnell
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Throughout the New Testament of the Bible, the Apostle Paul preaches one message and one message alone. That message, simply stated, is the Message of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. But, what should be included in the Message of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified? The Message of Christ and Him Crucified should include:
*Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by way of the Immaculate Conception through the Holy Spirit.
*Jesus was God’s Only Begotten Son and a member of the Holy Trinity.
*Jesus came to earth for the sole purpose of saving men, women, boys, and girls from their sins.
*Jesus lived on the earth for 33 years and had a ministry of approximately 3 years.
*Jesus was hated by the Jewish hierarchy.
*Jesus was betrayed by one of His disciples whose name was Judas.
*Jesus was whipped mercilessly by Roman soldiers.
*Jesus was ordered by Pontius Pilate to be crucified.
*Jesus died on a wooden cross at Calvary at the hands of Roman soldiers.
*Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for all sins, past, present, and future.
*Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathaea.
*Jesus was resurrected in three days, just as He had prophesied.
*Jesus spent forty days with His disciples after His resurrection.
*Jesus ascended to Heaven to prepare an eternal home for all those who believe in Him.
*Jesus provides the only True Plan of Salvation.
Therefore, as can be clearly seen in the components of the Message of Jesus Christ, He died a horrendous death and shed much of His royal blood. But, why did He leave Heaven to come to a sinful earth? Simply speaking, He came so that God’s creation could be redeemed from their sins that resulted from the Fall of Adam and Eve, the first sinners, in the Garden of Eden. Also, Jesus was the only sacrifice that could be accounted worthy of such an ordeal, since He was sinless and had unconditional love. This is the reason that Jesus said in John 14:6 that “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
However, the Message of Jesus Christ that many postmodern Christian ministers convey to their congregations is much different from the true Message of Jesus Christ that is stated throughout the New Testament. In fact, in postmodern America, too many false prophets are occupying pulpits in Christian churches and are preaching a distorted, sugar-coated gospel message. As a result, Christians who attend these particular churches hear sermons regularly from their pastors that are politically correct, watered-down, and non-offensive. Therefore, without the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ being preached, those who become Christians would develop a weak, spiritual root system that has no way to sustain itself without God’s water of life through His Son Jesus Christ. Of course, these would-be Christians would ultimately be lifeless, spiritless, and powerless, which is a perfect description of much of America’s Postmodern Christian Church. In fact, if the Apostle Paul was alive, he would openly condemn the false gospel that is being preached in 21st century America, just as he condemned the Galatians during the first century. As stated in Galatians 1:6-9,
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Therefore, Paul the Apostle definitely did not approve of the manner in which the Galatians switched from the true gospel of Jesus Christ to a distorted, counterfeit gospel. Of course, according to the Apostle Paul, those who accept and live by a false gospel will be cursed. But, sadly, thousands of Americans are attending churches where “spiritual garbage” is being purported by false prophets to an unassuming audience. However, worst than that, unbelievers unfortunately accept a superficial gospel that in actuality is ensuring that they do not go to Heaven, since it is not based on the blood-bought plan of salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Also, other apostles of Jesus Christ spoke out against false teachings and false prophets. Some of these are:
II Peter 2:1-2
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24: 4-5
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22 For false Christ’s and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
I John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Therefore, based on these scriptures related to false teachers and false prophets, it should be obvious that what the apostles spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit would eventually happen. Unfortunately, that time is now. In fact, Jeremiah the prophet, in 629 B.C., wrote a message against the faithless shepherds (priests and prophets) of Israel, which could very easily be addressed to many postmodern Christian ministers and teachers today. In Jeremiah 23, verses 1, 2, 4, 11-12, 14, 16, 21-22, 25-27, 30-32, 34, and 40, Jeremiah paints a vivid picture of faithless ministers and teachers and their negative effect on Christendom today. These scriptures include:
1Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
2Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah
16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words everyone from his neighbour.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.
40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
Hence, as is implied in the above mentioned scriptures, any and all false prophets in the United States should be aware of God’s judgment on those who do not preach the Truth of the Gospel as He would expect them to do and purposely lead God's Children astray.
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