Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”
— Matthew 7:15

by Rick Moyer

Did you know that God gave us a brain and instincts for a reason?  Yep.  When I first gave my heart over to Christ I was often very disappointed in my fellow believers because they seemed to be far too trusting of others.  Their big excuse was, “All things work together for good for those who believe!”  They used that a lot to justify some pretty horrible behavior.  It was almost like a haze came over their eyes and they became zombies when a leader would say something.  They simply and blindly, many times, accepted what was being said as the gospel truth. 

As time went by I became that way to a certain point as well.  I was aclimated into the “this is the way it is brother” club.  Don’t question your leadership, don’t use  your head, just walk by faith.  That worked great until our first major problem with church leadership. 

We had a pastor who exhibited signs of narcissism.  I didn’t know what it was at the time but was soon to find out.  When all was said and done we had been serving with a man who turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  We caught him in adultery with at least seven women, he had manipulated many of our friends and was starting to exhibit signs of being a cult leader.  WOW!  I talk about it on my podcast this week, and think it is a good listen.  Of course he was removed from his position and we had to recover from the mess.  It was very hard initially because we had trusted him to speak into our lives. 

What I found is that the Bible has some safeguards and tests to find out whether or not you are associating with genuine people or not.  In fact it even warns that there will be people masquerading as sheep when in fact they are wolves with costumes on.  Yeah, no kidding.  Why in the world do we ignore those passages of scripture that tell us how to hear God’s voice?  I know the answer to that.  It is our culture and our laziness.  We don’t want to do the research required, or have the commitment it takes to be our own person. 

Do you know that to recognize counterfeit money, bank tellers study the real thing?  They have some pens that they can use to check the ink on the money, but they are trained to feel the money, see the money, handle the money- and when something that isn’t genuine comes along it feels different, strange and out of place.  If we as believers knew Jesus better, then when a counterfeit or off base preacher came along, we could notice.  In fact when I look back at the times we were burned by fellow “Christians” I always had a little “check” in my Spirit.  

If a pastor always talks about himself, how awesome he is, money and what he can do for you then you may see some signs.  If he/she is selfish and unloving- you may have a sign.  If a person is more interested in their ministry than they are in you and Jesus… you have a sign.  It’s all about Jesus, not a man or woman.

Some pastors, leaders, priests, etc, are here to help us get closer to God, but they themselves are not Jesus. 

They call a relationship with Jesus a personal relationship for a reason.  It’s because we aren’t supposed to rely on anyone else to stand before God for us.  Not our priest, not our pastor, not our mom and dad… nope, it is supposed to be US that stand before God on our own.  We are all accountable for our relationship with HIM. 
It is easier to say “yeah, my pastor says this” or “yep, my favorite preacher always says..”  rather than- “You know I was reading my Bible and found this really cool passage that spoke to me like this–”  That requires some time and discipline- and most importantly a relationship with God.

The reason we are so devastated when our politicians, pastors and priests fall  is because we have placed them far to up on a pedestal.  All of the men and women we hold in high esteem are human, and fallible just like us.

When Michael Jackson died I was sad.  I don’t like death much, and his music was pretty amazing.  But some were devastated.  He was their idol.  No one should be held that high.  Only Jesus can deliver the goods when it comes to worship.  We can worship Him and in Him we won’t be disappointed.  There is nothing wrong with admiring someone or being thankful for someone that has helped us through tough times, but we can take it to extreme.  And that is when it hurts the most- when someone we love and trust lets us down.

I can find nowhere in the Bible where it says to trust anyone blindly.  We are supposed to “Know” those who we work with, we are supposed to test the spirits, and we are supposed to examine the lifestyle of those that lead us. And while no one is perfect, the Bible tells us the difference between someone who is genuine and someone who is pulling the wool over our eyes. 

Who do you run to when you are in trouble?  Who do you ask for advice?  The first person we should run to is Jesus.  Then  we can bump it off a close friend or our pastor, priest or family member.  Jesus should come first, not last.

Not everyone who says they have your back does.  I do know one person that does though.  His name is Jesus and He won’t let you down.

He Calls His Sheep by Name

 1-5 “Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.” 

  1. tytanshammer says:

    People are supposed to be words of Christ, even as Christ is the expression of the Father. Each one of us is like a verb, or noun, or pronoun……..we are only a piece of the expression of the Father…….but Jesus is the whole expression……..

    It seems the problem comes in when we go beyond just being the word we are called to be, because we don’t value it or we just don’t see the value of being the expression he sees us to be……… we try to be something we are not or fill the void with something that cannot satisfy that deep that calls unto His Deep……..

    many people start out with good intentions…….very sincere……but the enemy finds a weak spot and works on it…..for years……very slowly……and a small problem becomes a big one…….

    Why does this happen…..? Because people don’t take seriously that we are in a life or death battle with an enemy. Like ww2 we need to learn to take AND hold ground, cover our flanks, take the fight to the enemy and learn to cut off his logistical support. We need to re-learn how to fight these battles again, not just have church.

  2. emilyp says:

    Very good! Left me with a lot to think about. You have such a way at making me see things in a different light, outside of the box maybe. Thank you for your very wise insight.

    On another note. I’d really love to see you and Amy before I go back home. Maybe for dinner or lunch or something. Please send me a message and let me know when you are free.

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