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Chapter Twelve
(Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing Amongst the Saints)

To say the words "I am a Christian" is not always a profession of faith in Jesus. There are Christians with no true spiritual discernment who are deceived by other Christians. These naïve believers may be delighted to meet a "fellow believer," thinking they can fellowship in unity, but their new friend also may unwittingly be a pseudo-Christian. All of this results from failure to understand the truth about flesh and blood, and the reason Jesus came. THE ERROR WHICH HAS INVADED THE 'CHURCH' HAS LEFT NO AREA UNTOUCHED--deception is everywhere!

The very nature of deception is stealth, and subsequently not obvious to the undiscerning. Even the Christian is not impervious to Satan's craftiness and misleading ways. This master deceiver has created in the church gross error that is not perceptible to the mind of the flesh. Jesus warned us to take heed that no one deceives us! We must be diligent in pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus, and surrender our mind to the mind of Christ, in order to escape the pitfalls of the enemy.

Satan's ambition is to keep people from knowing the true Christ. Although he will constantly attempt to deceive the true believers, Satan knows who they are and he is extremely fearful of them. At the same time, he has no fear of those who only think they are believers as a result of the doctrines of man. He knows they are fair game, and that he can use them for his own purposes. After all, he has disguised himself as an "angel of light."1 And he has a host of demonic beings ready to carry out his orders. They delight in their work because they can go anywhere the Christians are to keep them in their deluded state. Satan wants to keep these deceived souls from Jesus, so he runs an operation that appears identical to the real thing. He has desensitized the pseudo-believers to the degree that they are not aware they are steeped in flesh.

Religious spirits and controlling spirits seem almost inseparable. Their ability to deceive is nothing short of amazing, even to the deceiving of (fleshly) spiritual giants. Because of that, these spirits can make greater inroads into the church. They will look for people who desire to be exalted. Religious spirits and controlling spirits love to find willing vessels who will take them to the inner sanctum of churches and ministries, where they can create strategies to keep people from coming to the Truth. They will equip their willing vessels with a false spiritual maturity, while these deceived ones believe they are 'growing in the Lord.' Through lack of discernment, many can easily be led astray if they rely solely on the profession of faith from the lips of these deluded ones who have unwittingly become messengers of Satan.

There are some in the Christian community who will warn us not to be looking for demons behind every rock. But if the devil already has the world in his control, the church is where he will go to find flesh-minded souls he can deceive with his crafty devices. The days in which we live are extremely dangerous ones, and Satan's demons will come along and use souls disguised as anointed Christians.

In Revelation 2, Jesus warned of a self-proclaimed prophetess Jezebel. In the spirit realm there is neither male nor female, so this spirit can be found operating through both men and women. It is significant that Jesus should single out Jezebel as one we must be wary of. As with all evil spirits, the Jezebel spirit will be so convincing that it will deceive many. When Jesus spoke to the Ekklesia at Thyatira, He said that their latter works were more than their earlier works. (Revelation 2:19). Could it be that they were overly "works-minded" and therefore "flesh-minded"? He went on to tell how they had allowed Jezebel to seduce His servants to commit fornication (idolatry) and to partake of things offered to idols. (This would be the filthy flesh left over from offerings made to idols.) Has the church become so flesh-minded that the false prophetess Jezebel has been welcomed, while those who speak truth are rejected? Is the church so lacking in discernment that this spirit is allowed to function undetected?

We read about the evil deeds of the original Jezebel and Ahab against God's true prophets, in 1 Kings 16,18,19,21, and 2 Kings 9. Although there is no suggestion that the Jezebel of Revelation is related to the one in the Old Testament, I believe that Satan's assault against the Lord's pure word would not end with Queen Jezebel's nasty demise. Would he not come back with a similar spirit to war against the Ekklesia of God more vigorously in the last days?

The Jezebel spirit at Thyatira was a stubborn one because she would not repent of her idolatry, even after being given time to do so. Because of this, we know it is difficult for those who have that spirit to be freed. Jesus' final words are terrible for those who have been deceived by Jezebel into committing adultery (apostasy). They have bought into her lies about how "spiritual" she is, with her capability to act the part of a "Christian." Her tactics are never blatant, but are acceptable to the undiscerning because they have the appearance of godly deeds and words. She knows how to quote Scripture, and because it "sounds right" many are led away from Truth. Jesus said, "Behold, I do cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her works. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works." (Revelation 2:22-23). What a dreadful end for those who have received her, and never held her accountable for her works that have undermined the purposes of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Jesus also said that there were some who did not "have" [Greek word "echo"]2 the doctrine which Jezebel taught. They had not "known the depths of Satan," so He promised not to put any "other burden" upon them. (Revelation 2:24 Rev. KJV). If we always remember that we have been crucified with Christ, and continue to walk by His Spirit with keen discernment, we will not know "the depths of Satan." Therefore, we can escape the judgment that will befall those whom Jezebel has deceived.

The test that tells

Jesus' true Ekklesia is a relational one, with one-on-one interaction and gathering together to commune with Him. In our dealings with one another, if we are not sure who or what we are dealing with, we can always rely on Paul's list of the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23). Most of all, love will be evident in one who is truly born from above and walking by the Spirit.

A second test would reveal the presence, or absence, of peace. The Holy Spirit's presence in one who is born from above will be sensed with an almost tangible peace. If we find it difficult to maintain a sense of peace while in the company of another, we can be certain that "another spirit" is resident in him or her.

When we are full of the Holy Spirit we will know that inner Witness that tells us if something is amiss. We must always be attuned to His voice and follow Him--even if it means severing ties with a friend, or some other respected person.

In one who walks by the Spirit, free of any evil influence, the remaining fruit of the Spirit will be evident: "joy, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control."

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17b). But where religious flesh is, we can almost always find evil spirits parading as "anointed" vessels. Without keen discernment we will be taken in by one with a false anointing. The devil's servants know how to act and talk like the Lord's servants--but they are counterfeit, and we must learn to recognize them by their fruit. They are all around us and will continue to increase in number as the Coming of the Lord draws near.

We must be wary at all times, and also ever watchful that we ourselves are surrendered to the Holy Spirit's control and walking in His power as opposed to the power of our flesh. May we never assume we are Spirit-filled because of having once been filled. We must daily surrender our flesh to the Spirit. As John 3:30 tells us, "He must increase, but I must decrease."


If one feels called to intercession, they will soon learn that it can be an arena of heavy battle, and one that Satan desires to influence. It is a dangerous place to be, unless there is absolute surrender to God, and death to one's own flesh. Intercessors must be vessels void of pride, having a pure heart before the Lord. If their motivation be impure, God's work will be hindered. True intercessors must guard themselves against any trace of deception, keeping the ears of their spirits open to hear only the voice of the Spirit of God. Otherwise, they may unwittingly open themselves to a voice that is not the Lord's.

Flesh is the door through which Satan walks--he planned it that way from the beginning. He has no fear of "religious" flesh--he will use them mercilessly in his bid to add members to his counterfeit church.

The tares

God is no respecter of persons. He does not regard good intentions as "righteousness." If men and women are not truly born from above by the Spirit of God and are not protecting themselves from the wiles of Satan, they will be as the tares in Jesus' parable in Matthew 13:24-30. The sower's servants asked if they should gather the tares from the wheat field, but he told them "No," lest they root up the wheat along with the tares. They must allow both to "grow together until the harvest": and when harvest time comes, the reapers are to gather up the tares in bundles to be burned, while the wheat is to go into the barn. In explaining the parable to His disciples, Jesus told them that the good seeds are "the sons of the kingdom" sown by the Son of Man, while the devil sows his own sons as tares. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. (Matthew 13:37b-39).

Jesus could have used the word "weed," which would have referred to just any weed, but He did not. He used "tares" with all that it represents. Tares is translated from a Greek word which means "darnel," or "false grain."3 The word darnel means "stupefied," and its seed is prone to infestation by a fungus which makes the darnel seeds poisonous.4 In relation to the present spiritual condition of North America in particular, Satan's infested tares are spreading their stupefying poison in the church. But Jesus knows His own and His own know Him, so in the end He will separate the false from the true, as He explained to His disciples. At the end of this age, the Son of Man will send His angels to gather out of His kingdom all who turn others away from Him and who practice iniquity--they all will be cast into the furnace of fire. "There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Matthew 13:42b-43 NKJV).

Jesus also said we must enter in by the narrow gate, for the way that leads to destruction is wide and many are going that way. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:14-15 NKJV). "Narrow," in verse 14, comes from a Greek word meaning "narrow (from obstacles standing close about)."5 There will be many obstacles--especially the false prophets who are ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing--crowding the gate and keeping souls from Jesus.

The wolves may start out as sheep, but without complete surrender to the Spirit's working within, the door of their flesh is wide open for Satan to begin his work. We MUST go the way of the Cross and allow our flesh to be crucified with Christ if we desire to escape the entrapment that produces "wolves."

1.  2 Corinthians 11:14
2.  Greek #2192
3.  Greek #2215
4.  Webster's New World Dictionary - Simon & Schuster Inc. 1986
5.  Greek #4728

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©2012 Stella Paterson

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