[Beloved, test every spirit]
In the book of Psalms, those who belong to God are referred to as the sheep of His pasture. Jesus also referred to us (His disciples) as His sheep (or in other words His flock).
“Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” –Psalm 100:3
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them.” (John 10:27)
Jesus is our good shepherd, for He protects, cares for us, and leads the way, unlike one who is simply a hired hand. He cares nothing for the sheep, so he abandons the flock and runs away when a wolf attacks the flock. (John 10:11-13)
Speaking of wolves. Scripture refers to those who aren’t truly part of the flock as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Fakes! Fakes are people whose words can’t be trusted. Study them for long enough, however, and their true colours will shine through. These people appear to be followers of Christ, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
How can we protect ourselves and the flock from the counterfeits?
We can protect ourselves, but it takes some education on our part. The best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the real deal. Counterfeiting is big business (from counterfeit money) to knock offs of expensive brand name items, however, there are always tell tale signs that they aren’t genuine.
Federal agents spend a great deal of time studying money in order to gain that eagle eye. We, too, can learn to spot the fakes by knowing and understanding Scripture well. By doing so we also draw near to God who is our protection.
This means willing participation. If we aren’t proactive, we won’t know Jesus well enough to know His voice; instead we’ll be pulled away by those who say what we want to hear. Flock Fakes know Scripture well, or at least it appears this way. They may know the words, but they purposely or ignorantly twist the truth to mean something very different.
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” — 2 Timothy 4:3
We have an amazing defense system–that is, if we’re willing to armour up. (Ephesians 6:10-18 ) Never take anyone at their word alone. Test the spirits and back everything up with Scripture.
I make mistakes too, so if you’re “following” me–follow Jesus first. Do the homework!
Even those who back things up with Scripture may manipulate it to mean something very different. They can be very convincing, so pray for discernment. We’re all still learning. This means we’re all ignorant in areas.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” –1 John 4:1