Someone asked me,
When the Bible talks about wolves in sheep’s clothing, is that referring to a common occurrence? That in our everyday churches, there would be people there who may be well respected but are there to deceive and destroy?
How does one recognize a vicious wolf, if he looks like a harmless sheep?
So . . . I went to the Bible.
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:15), Jesus said,
Beware of false prophets. They come to you disguised as sheep, but in their hearts they are vicious wolves.
Jesus later sent the 70 out to preach the Kingdom of Heaven—described in Matthew 10 and Luke 10—and told them He was sending them out as lambs in the midst of wolves. The context indicates they were going to people who didn’t want to hear the message of the Kingdom of God. This is different from finding wolves in our midst among the people of God.
Jesus made it clear to His listeners that false prophets—that is, those claiming to have a word from the Lord for you—would come into the flock of God. Not just wolves, but vicious wolves.
(That Greek word translated “vicious” in some versions is also translated as “extortion” in some other verses. Extortion can be defined as using one’s position or power to obtain money, property, or patronage. Hmmm.)
That means the people of God are supposed to be watching out for them.
Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.