"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"
Dennis Cramer Ministries
The Bible warns us to be on our guard against wolves.
"I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember, I have never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears." -Acts 20:29-31
Years ago, the Lord prophetically warned me of a wolf who was about to enter my life and ministry. "Denny, if you join with this man, he will rob you of your congregation--for his heart and his mind are not joined with yours. He is a deceptive man, and he will cleverly deceive the congregation to undermine you and your ministry, twisting and distorting even the most innocent words and actions to make you appear as the evil one rather than himself. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing."
The Bible uses a wolf to symbolize a false minister or teacher. He is someone who scatters the flock, leads sheep astray, and preys upon the flock instead of feeding them. He is not a true shepherd.
He misleads people by drawing them to himself instead of drawing them to the heart and rule of God--his outward appearance concealing his inward motives. A wolf will talk, teach, preach, sing, or act just like a real sheep but his desire or motivation is entirely different.
A wolf thinks only of himself--selfish and destructive. A true shepherd always puts the sheep first--not last. He lays his life down for the sheep.
A wolf is someone who has not submitted his life to the Lordship of Jesus. He has sought God for the wrong reasons. He serves God for what he can get from Him rather than for who He is. He is an impostor, easily mistaken for a true shepherd until his motives are revealed by his actions.
A wolf takes control no matter what it takes: trickery, deceit, manipulation, false doctrine, intimidation, clandestine meetings, power plays, secrecy, planting seeds of distrust, discord, disloyalty, or even spiritual witchcraft. He will use any means available. It is very difficult to identify a wolf by his outward appearance--by what he says or how he looks; a wolf often looks and sounds like a sheep.
Instead, you identify a wolf by what he does or does not do. You identify a wolf by his actions.
"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly, they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruit. . . " -Matthew 7:15-16
Fruit speaks of lifestyle, character, teaching, and influence--his personal history--the mark he leaves on people's lives. In addition, a wolf will often lie, steal, gossip, slander, break covenant, be disloyal, violate friendships or trusts, betray or dishonor others, violate confidentialities, ignore biblical guidelines for proper communication between disagreeing Christians, lust, love money, be a poor steward of money, be dishonest, be selfish, be self-important and proud, claim a false ministry or gift, claim an authority in God he doesn't possess, self-promote, be worldly, be carnal, be greedy, show outbursts of anger and rage, have a controlling spirit, have no fruit of the Spirit, and most importantly do nothing out of a pure agape love as his motivation. A wolf only knows how to display cold love because by nature, he is a predator.
According to the Bible, the dog, fox, bear, and wolf all have negative connotations.
"Behold, I send you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents..." -Matthew 10:16 (We should be wise concerning wolves.)
"After my departure, savage (grievous) wolves (notice the nature or characteristic of this type of wolf--savage, grievous). . . will come in among you, not sparing the flock (notice where the wolves are located--among you--among us. . . notice their recklessness and the danger they pose to the sheep--"not sparing the sheep").
From among yourselves, men (notice the wolves are men--probably leaders) will rise up speaking (a wolf has an unusually big mouth, jaws, and teeth) perverse (misleading) things to draw away disciples after themselves (a wolf always has a personal agenda--not a godly agenda). Therefore, watch and remember I did not cease to warn you (notice this apostolic warning is to Christians) night and day for three years (notice the seriousness of this warning)." -Acts 20:29-31
Beware of false messengers who come to you in sheep's clothing.
"Beware of false messengers who come to you in sheep's clothing (notice their outward appearance-they look like sheep) but inwardly, they are ravenous wolves. (notice their inward motivation-meat eaters) You will know them by their fruit." -Matthew 7:15-16
Jesus said that their inward motivation will eventually be seen in their actions.
In Review: What Is A Wolf?
According to the Bible, there's nothing good about a wolf--nothing. A wolf is a cunning, hostile, marauding animal--intelligent, clever, calculating, an opportunist in the animal kingdom, and the arch enemy of sheep. Jesus used a wolf (Gk.lukos-- weighty one) metaphorically to describe a false prophet, minister, or teacher--a cruel, greedy, destructive person (usually a person in a leadership position)--someone who would oppress and ruin the church.
The Bible warns us a wolf often looks and sounds just like the other sheep, but he shares similar outward characteristics only and spends most of his time around the sheep (not for fellowship, but to size up his prey). But he will freely sacrifice the sheep should trouble arise. Compare this to a true shepherd who will oppose a wolf at the risk and cost of his own life.
Carnivores and herbivores do not hang out together.
Most alarmingly of all, a wolf is a carnivore--he loves freshly killed sheep! A sheep is an herbivore; carnivores and herbivores do not hang out together. Make no mistake about it, a wolf feeds on sheep. He sees them only as a resource for his selfish purposes--a food source!
A wolf is someone greedy for personal gain, who can never have enough. He is a hireling working primarily for the money--not a true shepherd (John 10:11-13). His only interest is personal advancement at the expense of others.
A wolf is ruthless and loveless--a "taker." He openly violates God's principles of agape love in I Corinthians 13. Most wolves don't know how to love--they're just hunters living for the kill.
A wolf scatters the flock--he's not a true leader. His ministry is often characterized by the number of dead sheep left scattered around him. Any contact with a wolf will lead to destruction and eventual death for the sheep. A wolf only gathers sheep to use them or disqualify them (John 10:12).
A wolf leads sheep astray--twisting and distorting the truth. A wolf is often weak theologically, even heretical, and cares little for the orthodoxy of Scripture. His goal is not healthy, well fed, theologically balanced, sheep but gullible, vulnerable, dependent sheep--mindless, spineless followers.
Self-preservation is the prime motivation of a wolf.
A wolf misleads people by drawing them to his own personality instead of drawing them to the heart and rule of God--his outward appearance concealing his inward motives. He will talk, teach, preach, sing, or act just like a sheep, but his desire or motivation is entirely different. A wolf possesses a self-important spirit--often boasting of a false gift or ministry.
A wolf looks for quick results that require little sacrifice. He is impatient, impulsive, immature, premature in all he does. He's an aggressive animal--a pushy personality, often displaying erratic behavior.
A wolf thinks only of himself--usually an acutely selfish and self-destructive personality. Self-preservation is the prime motivation of a wolf. A wolf is often a betrayer and knows little of relational loyalty.
A wolf is an untrustworthy person--never turn your back on one--never trust a wolf. Jim Jones was a wolf. If a wolf offers you a glass of Kool-Aid, don't accept it!
A wolf is someone who has not submitted his life to the Lordship of Jesus.
A wolf is usually an unbroken vessel--lacking genuine authority in God. He will impugn the character of others, while totally ignoring his own sins.
A wolf seeks God for the wrong reasons--for what he can get from Him rather than for who God is.
A wolf is an impostor, easily mistaken for a true shepherd until his motives are revealed by his actions, his fruit. (life-style, character, teaching, and influence). Never listen to what a wolf says. Listen to what he does; look at his track record.
A wolf takes control no matter what it takes: trickery, deceit, manipulation, intimidation, false doctrine, clandestine meetings, power plays, secrecy, planting seeds of distrust, discord, disloyalty, or spiritual witchcraft. He will use any means available. A wolf thinks nothing of illegal, unethical, or unscriptural behavior. To a wolf, the end always justifies the means. Left to his own devices, a wolf will ultimately destroy any church he leads.
Hope this helps,
Dennis Cramer Ministries