Christian Living

How Do Believers Recognize a Wolf in the Church


B1 There are many false teachers.

B2 How can we discern them.

B3 How can we reveal them to be false.

B4 How can we spare others from being deceived.


C1 Doctrinal problems

C2 Hide what they believe

C3 Act holy and righteous in public

C4 Offer their opinion on doctrinal issues that are not orthodox

C5 Work to get everyone to love and admire them

C6 False gospel

C7 Ashamed of Jesus

C8 Liars

C9 Different Bible interpretation than plain, normal sense


C1 Judaizers

C2 False converts as Simon the Magician

C3 Hymenaeus

C4 Angel of light

Important things

C1 Doctrine

C2 Bible Interpretation

C3 Scriptural pastors

C4 Christian living

C5 Correct gospel

Some verses

C1 Romans 16:17-20 NKJV – Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you. Amen.

C2 1 Timothy 6:3-5 NKJV – If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a [means of] gain. From such withdraw yourself.

C3 2 Timothy 2:23 NKJV – But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

C4 Galatians 5:13-21 NKJV – For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not [use] liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

C5 James 3:13-18 NKJV – Who [is] wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

C6 Romans 14:19-23 NKJV – Therefore let us pursue the things [which make] for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed [are] pure, but [it is] evil for the man who eats with offense. [It is] good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor [do anything] by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have [it] to yourself before God. Happy [is] he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because [he does] not [eat] from faith; for whatever [is] not from faith is sin.Romans 15:1-3 NKJV – We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please [his] neighbor for [his] good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”

C7 Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NKJV – “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, “and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’–which you have not known–‘and let us serve them,’ “you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn [you] away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

C8 Ezekiel 22:27 CSB – Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey, shedding blood, and destroying lives in order to make profit dishonestly.

C9 Habakkuk 1:8 CSB – Their horses are swifter than leopards and more fierce than wolves of the night. Their horsemen charge ahead; their horsemen come from distant lands. They fly like eagles, swooping to devour.

C10 Zephaniah 3:3 CSB – The princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are wolves of the night, which leave nothing for the morning.

C11 Matthew 7:15 CSB – Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.

C12 Matthew 10:16 CSB – Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.

C12 Luke 10:3 CSB – Now go; I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves.

C13 Acts 20:29 CSB – I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.


C1 God wants us to know true doctrine (His doctrine).

C2 God wants us to be steadfast to that doctrine.

C3 God does not change.

C4 God’s doctrine does not change.

C5 God’s gospel does not change.

C6 There are many false teachers who want to change God’s gospel, God’s doctrine, and God’s way of life for us.

Commentary on Verses

C1 Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

D1 Pretenders

D2 Fruits

E1 This is slightly what they say.

E2 This is greatly how they live, and what they do.

E3 What they say and what they do must match.

E4 The standard we have is the Bible.

F1 In particular, the New Testament.

F2 Interpretation must be in the plain, normal sense, in context, and taking note of grammar and the culture.

E5 Good is defined by God’s standards, not mine or yours.

D3 Of those who write so good, so true, but they promote and encourage things that God hates. Matthew 23:1-5 CSB – Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples: “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. “Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. “They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. “They do everything to be seen by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

D4 These kind of people (trees) will be cut down and destroyed.

C2 Romans 16:17 CSB – Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them.

D1 False teachers of any type work to create divisions. They will try to convince various people in various ways. Some will not be convinced of this teaching, or at least, how wonderful the false teachers are. Some will be won over to this teaching and how wonderful the false teachers are.

D2 Sometimes the false teachers minimize doctrine. “We need love, healing, and forgiveness.”

D3 Teachers who depart from sound doctrine engage in speculation and argumentation which results in strife and friction: (Source).

C3 Revelation 2:14 NKJV – “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.

D1 Balak, a prophet of God who later rejected God, “taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel…”

D2 A stumbling block is something that causes another believer (especially so) to sin even to fall from the faith.

D3 We see this happening in domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and other abuses that are revictimized by church leaders.

D4 We see this happening when these false believers/teachers teach others to not live a Christian life according to God’s instructions.

D5 Balaam died for his evil—Joshua 13:22. So will all these false teachers Jeremiah 14:14-16, Jeremiah 28:16-17, Jeremiah 29:31-32,

C4 2 Peter 2:1 NKJV – But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction.

D1 Israel had false prophets

E1 Promised peace when there was no peace

E2 Did not preach about sin

E3 Prophesied in God’s name, but God says that He did not send them.

D2 Church has false teachers

E1 Promise peace when there is none

E2 Don’t not preach about sin, just love, healing, and the good life.

E3 Destructive heresies because they to blaspheming God’s character, God’s ways, and God’s thoughts.

E4 False Gospel. This is mainly that we must do something instead of grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

E5 False Christian life.

F1 Judaizers—must keep all or parts of the Old Testament (usually the Torah).

F2 Legalists—following man made laws to be right with God.

F3 Some King James Only (KJO) groups that teach any other version is of the devil.

E6 Hypocrites

F1 Teach something they do not follow.

F2 What they teach and what they do otherwise: Matthew 23:1-5 NKJV – Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, [that] observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay [them] on men’s shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers. “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.

E7 Some names: 2 Timothy 2:17-18 Modern English Version (MEV) and their word will spread like gangrene: Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and who overthrow the faith of some.

C5 Jeremiah 14:14-15 CSB – But the LORD said to me, “These prophets are prophesying a lie in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, the deceit of their own minds. “Therefore, this is what the LORD says concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them, and who say, ‘There will never be sword or famine in this land.’ By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end.

D1 Prophesy lies.

D2 God states that He did not send them. The false prophets state that God did send them.

D3 Methods

E1 False vision

E2 Worthless divination

E3 Deceit of the own mind.

D4 They will receive God’s punishment.

C6 2 Peter 2:1-3 CSB – There were indeed false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved ways, and the way of truth will be maligned because of them. They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.

D1 Bring in destructive heresies (as false Gospel: Galatians 1:8-9 NKJV – But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

D2 Deny Christ.

E1 They have false doctrine of Jesus.

E2 They may deny His deity.

E3 They may deny His humanity.

E4 They may deny other things about Jesus.

D3 Depraved

E1 Instead of a godly lifestyle, they have a depraved lifestyle.

E2 The New Testament gives many rules of living a godly lifestyle, but these will not live that way. They only acknowledge a “freedom” from all those rules.

D4 Way of truth maligned.

E1 Their false doctrine and false way of life are not the truths taught in the New Testament.

E2 They teach, “Well, that passage only addresses those in the first century.”

E3 They teach, “Well, times have changed, and now we know more.”

E4 They teach, “Well, I can do that, because God has told me I can.”

C7 Jeremiah 14:15 CSB – “Therefore, this is what the LORD says concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them, and who say, ‘There will never be sword or famine in this land.’ By sword and famine these prophets will meet their end. The punishment for being false is death.

C8 2 Peter 2:14-17 NKJV – having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, [and are] accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the [son] of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

D1 Adultery

E1 This may be sexual immorality and sins.

E2 It may be living to please their fleshly comforts—money, power, fame, control, etc.

D2 Seduce

E1 This may be grooming for sexual abuse.

E2 This may be speaking lies to get others to stop living a godly lifestyle.

D3 Unstable:

E1 Those not solid in the faith

E2 Those who drift from the truth

E3 Those who are starved in their Christian life by not reading the Bible, praying, and having fellowship with others.

D4 Trained in greed:

E1 They practice sin.

E2 They practice lying, stealing, plotting against others.

E3 They are training vigorously.

E4 The Greek word is γυμνάζω gymnazō and means to exercise vigorously, in any way, either the body or the mind (Source).

D5 Instead of a Christian life, they lead another type of life, which leads to God’s judgment.

D6 Balaam is one example. See Numbers 22-24.


B1 They want followers.

B2 They do not follow Jesus Christ’s teachings in their plain, normal sense.

B3 They change the meaning of the Scriptures: redefine words, take words out of context, string texts together to give a new meaning, use the authority of scholarship to change the meaning, bully, manipulate, sweet talk, love bomb, and any thing else.

B4 They state that times have changed.

B5 They give new revelation, which they claim is pure, not like the “old written letter” of the Bible.

B6 They live by their visions, feelings, desires, opinions, dreams, greed, and need for control.

B7 They have a false gospel.

B8 They have false doctrine.

B9 They appeal to the lusts of the flesh.

B10 Often, they have charismatic personalities.

B11 Jesus warns us they are coming.

C1 As wolves

C2 As angels of light

C3 As ministers

B12 To avoid disaster

C1 Truth is most important.

C2 Interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense, in context, and checking cross references.

C3 Pray

C4 Read and study the Bible.

C5 Fellowship with like-minded people.

C6 Be a little skeptical.

B13 More verse: Matthew 7:15, Luke 6:26, Romans 16:18, Matthew 24:5, Matthew 24:11, Matthew 24:24, Acts 20:29, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Galatians 4:17, Ephesians 4:14, Colossians 2:8, Colossians 2:18, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 1:11, 1 John 2:18-19, 1 John 2:26, Jude 1:18, Galatians 2:4, 2 Peter 2:3, and Philippians 3:19.


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