Wolves Among the Sheep

What I’m about to write has been on my heart for quite some time now, I’ve just not been quite sure how to put it into words. God has impressed me many times now to sit down and get this out. So here it is…

In 1805 a young man of vision was born by the name of Joseph Smith. It wasn’t long until Joseph Smith began to see the errors in the religious culture of the day. He had been witness to much hypocrisy from the religious leaders and had come away empty in his own personal religious experience time and time again. He decided he could no longer sit by idly and wait for things to change, it was time for action, time for something new! By the 1820’s Joseph Smith had begun his quest for a new experience and a deeper truth, and he found it. In 1823, while praying, Smith said he was visited by a night angel named Moroni, who revealed the location of a buried book of golden plates that held the truth to all mankind. By 1830, Smith had his golden plates translated into English and called it, “The Book of Mormon”, and so began “The Church of the Latter Day Saints.”

While I don’t agree with Joseph Smith’s religious view points or the way in which he obtained his revelations from God, I do understand his frustration with the religious culture of the day. He was in many ways like the apostle Paul, a man of vision and passion, a man who couldn’t be turned from his quest. The defining moment that set these two apart was the moment of truth. Paul listened to God and waited for truth to come and when it came he was a changed man forever, see Acts 9:1-19. Joseph Smith however, because he didn’t turn to the word of God for answers, allowed an angel of deception to speak its lies into his life, and in turn, many now live under false truths of a deranged false prophet.

I’ve noticed over the past few months, a growing distaste for the way things have always been in our churches. Many are no longer satisfied with hearing how great it is to be an apostolic while not seeing the apostolic power of the new testament church. A growing number are no longer satisfied with living holy and separate in lifestyle just because it’s what they’ve always done. They want to see the real, they want to see the power!

These people seem to be made up of two different groups. While both are not satisfied and both recognize a problem, both are not saying the same thing. Just as Joseph Smith and the Apostle Paul realized the need for something new, they both did not have the same ending. I fear the same thing has begun to happen in our movement. One side, seeing a problem, has become angry and disgruntled, but instead of picking up the word of God, they’ve picked up rocks. I’ve already seen wolves come in and start to devour these confused sheep. These wolves are no different from the night angel that appeared to Joseph Smith and sold him a lie. They come with enticing words, telling the sheep there’s no need for separation, just love the hurting of this world and you’ve done the work of God. They guide them away from their pastors, and the protection of authority. Separation and what it stands for is told to be a thing of the past, and those that practice such things are legalistic. All the while they make their followers angry, fill their hands with rocks, and hearts with hatred.

The Bible states in John 13:35, Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  And John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  

One of the scariest things about these wolves, is that some of them even have signs and wonders happening in their ministries. People get their eyes focused on the signs and wonders and forget all about the Word of God and what it says. Take a look at these two scriptures for proof. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

Matthew 7:20-23, Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

You may say, “this will never be me! I could never be so deceived! I have the Holy Ghost and have been baptized in Jesus’ name.”  Well, the Bible would disagree with you. The Bible is very clear on the fact, that is not enough. (Matthew 24:24), “For false Messiah’s and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”  This is why we MUST stay in the Word of God and not put our trust and faith in men and their signs!

There is another group that also sees a problem and desires change. A group that is backed with love for one another and a love for the word of God. This group is hungry for the deeper things of God, and are calling for more prayer, more Bible reading, more fasting, and more reaching out to the lost of this world. There are no rocks in their hands or hatred in their hearts, only burdens, hope, and love. This body of people will also have signs following them as they minister the word of God. Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

You may be asking, how am I to truly know the difference between the signs from the wolves and from the true works of God, it’s the same signs. The answer would be two scriptures up, Mark 16:15, He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'” The gospel will always keep the focus on Jesus and never on the one doing the signs.

If there was ever a time that we need to be in the Word of God it’s NOW! Eve ate the fruit because she didn’t really know what God had said. Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness by using the word. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets will arise and deceive many.”  Don’t just look for signs, look for the Word of Truth, the Bible.

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8 thoughts on “Wolves Among the Sheep

  1. Bob says:

    I have been to many churches, Colorado, Il, New York,Wi. No I am not an expert, we need to go for the truth of the word. I have heard the bible might not say but I do and you need to do it, is that something we need to be told? I have heard Pastors rip on almost every type of religion there is, is that going to win souls? We need to get to what is going to save souls, Prayer is the first thing we need to do so God can tell us what to do, we need to be under the authority of the pastor,otherwise we start thinking we don’t need to be under his submission. What should we do? How should we do it. Time is coming to and end soon. What do we need to do to get the church “on track”? There are a lot of people in sheeps clothing within the UPC church, what do we do to make everyone get right so we can do our job. I am including myself in this

  2. Sis. Dawn Stokes says:

    Awesome Brother!! Keep preaching truth!

  3. “confused sheep” says:

    I’m not here for a argument but rather seeking Real Answers from an established man of God

  4. Brad Boivin says:

    I appreciate your point-of-view as well as your willingness to share it with your readers. I understand your view and can find some truth in it, I cannot help but point out another truth related to Christians/Apostolic turning from the church, its leaders and a “separated” life.

    1. Preachers preach separation from the world and then “measure” it based on a few clothing and hair restrictions. Many focus on the “letter” of rules and regulations (standards) and have forsaken the Spirit of true holiness.

    2. Judgmentalism and elitism have caused many who don’t “measure up” to feel rejected by the church. “How can you embrace something that doesn’t embrace you?” People may be turning from the “Church” but I do not believe they are turning from God.

    If the Church became more Christian than Apostolic, things would be much better and more would feel welcomed and part of the family. We are called to follow Christ, not Paul, yet most of the for-for-tat that takes place in the Church is over Paul’s writings. Maybe we should be more concerned about what Christ would do rather than what Paul would do.

  5. BobO says:

    Bishop Shurte

    Told us not to long ago when you hear preaching and teaching you don’t agree with say nothing.

    But when you do agree say AMEN.

    I must say,

    AMEN AMEN AMEN AND MAY I SAY ONE MORE TIME AMEN

    To live is Christ to die is gain.

    Let me die again today

  6. “confused sheep” says:

    Hi I am seeking some real answers, and not seeking Strife.

    I see 2 main problems in our churches. #1 a lack of Power in the Pentecostal Church of the day. #2 a Dyeing Church.
    I don’t mean to “Throw Stones” But rather state the facts.

    I am Going to replace the name of the city I live with the letter W.

    I was on my way to work the other day, on my drive I have to drive all the way from my house and then Around the W area. I was praying and thinking on my drive to work. Here was my thought.

    There are close to 120,000 people in the W area, and out lying areas, and our little church that if you judge a church by its numbers is dying very fast. It has close to 100 people in it. That is less .001% of the population of the greater W area.

    So there are some of us “confused sheep” that would like a Better answer then just do what you have always done and expect a different Result.

    If we have the best message, which we do. Then why are we dyeing? Why have there only been 4 people in the W church to receive the Holy Ghost in the past year? And 2 of them were at children’s camp. Why is it that the retention rate in or churches for someone to last between the ages of 18-30 is only 10%?

    The problem is not our Message But rather our Method.

    I am Copying and Pasting some thing from my facebook wall to this thought, and if any one who might have read this on my wall please don’t expose who I am for I am wanting not to cause strife in my church, but rather truly seeking answers here, Because I am not finding them there.

    quote

    “A question; does your Message match your method? You see the salvation message can’t/will never change, but our method is something that does, and must change with each new generation. In order to be the most effective delivery service of… the best message.

    A good example of this is the Pony Express it was the fastest mail delivery system in the world of it’s day, but should we still use there method to day it would be a disaster. Not because the Pony Express was a bad idea, but rather the world around it has changed.

    If we the messenger/delivery system of this salvation message are more worried about identity, or our way of doing things. Than if we are being effective we will go the same way as the Pony Express. Good examples of this today are those churches who never grow or make statements like ” it is not about numbers”, ” we are not growing in size but rather in-depth”, or the worst one I have heard recently is “I don’t care if we ever get one more young person in our youth group, just as long as we don’t lose another one” and that was a pastor.

    You see this Jesus thing was and is infectious, explosive, and what this world needs. Under God’s creation the only time when a “body” stops growing is after it is dead and that is after it has been dead for a long time.

    Is it about Christianity, Pentecost, or Religion? Or is it about Jesus and Reaching the Lost?”

    I fear the our Pentecostal Church today is more like the church that Jesus went to as a small boy. Who could fallow the law to a tee but missed out on the Savior, King of King, Lord of host, all because they were worried about there method of church rather than the fact that the presents of God had not been there for over 400 years. (The children of Israel lost the arc of the convent close to 400 years B.C. – my current pastors quote ) Instead of the church that Paul Attended in the book of Act. Which broke from the traditions of the day and through the power of the Holy Ghost change the world forever. Hence the fact that they were named Christians Or Little Christ because they were so different From the Religion and traditions of the day.

    to Quote you

    “I’ve noticed over the past few months, a growing distaste for the way things have always been in our churches. Many are no longer satisfied with hearing how great it is to be an apostolic while not seeing the apostolic power of the new testament church. A growing number are no longer satisfied with living holy and separate in lifestyle just because it’s what they’ve always done. They want to see the real, they want to see the power!”

    This is Very True there are many of us “confused sheep” Want what, We need, and what this lost and Dyeing world needs. Is JESUSE not another dyeing religion.

    Please provide some real answers

    For I am seeking a church that is not dead. I am seeking a church That my children can fell the and see the power of the Holy Ghost. Like they use to we use to attend a UPCI Church outside of WI and my daughter who was 3 at the time would say “daddy I don’t want to leave the front of the church it is safe here”. I am seeking a church where people are healed, saved, and changed forever. I am seeking a church where if I tell someone about a God Who can Change their life for ever. I am not made a liar when they come to church with me and see that our church is no different then the one they were at before. And yes your church is too far away for me to drive to, or I would of already been there.

    And once again I will state I am seeking some real answers, and not seeking Strife.

    • mshowalter says:

      Hi “confused sheep”

      First, let me start by telling you how sorry I am for not getting back to you sooner, I really have no good excuse to offer or I would give it. I can say however, that I’ve thought many times about writing you back and what I would say to you. So I’m going to give it my best shot. I hope that none of what I say offends you, I would in no way would want to do that. I only desire to help you the best I can.

      There are so many people out there with the same questions you are per posing in your comments. I would love to tell you that the answer is a simple one but sometimes it’s a bit more complicated than we may realize. I can promise you this, God wants none of us on this earth to parish (2 Petter 3:9), and with that, He uses us to help bring the hurting of this world to that understanding (Mark 16:15-16).

      I don’t know your complete situation, but I know this one thing to always be sure, no matter the situations. God want’s to use you to bring His healing hand to the hurting of this world. He has given you power to be able to do that to the best of your ability (see Acts 1:8). The Bible also makes two more very strong declarations.
      1. “Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
      2. “The harvest fields are plenteous, but the laborers are few.” (Luke 10:2)
      As far as the first statement is concerned, you need to be sure for yourself that you are chosen and not just called. How do you make sure of this? Well, God does the calling, and you do the preparing to make yourself chosen. If you’re not chosen, it’s not because God didn’t want to chose you, it’s that you didn’t prepare yourself to be chosen. It’s just like in sports. The kids that have been practicing at home, get chosen first. While the kid that sat around at home doing a bunch of noting, doesn’t get chosen at all, and if he does, it’s with much regret, and God has no regrets. That thought ties in with the second.

      Souls are ready to be gathered but there’s not enough laborers. Reason being, not enough people caring for the lost and are doing the work to bring them in. Some are to busy playing religion, while others are wasting their time being offended. Others have just simply given up and have fallen into routine. No matter what the reasoning, the outcome is the same, souls are not being won!

      Why am I going about answering your question in this manner? Because you need to remember why you were saved, it was to serve in God’s kingdom. If you will set your heart and mind to this work, God will take care of you and your family. He will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:6) and all things will work together for the good (Romans 8:28). Keep your work for God in constant focus and God will direct you in what steps to take concerning you and your family.

      I hope this helped. God bless.

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