False ministers ~
Jesus said to be aware of them not to be afraid of them!
~ Matthew 7 ~
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
In this text Jesus, the Head of THE church said, “It is possible for illegitimate ministers to get legitimate results from their illegitimate ministry.”
You need to know that God can honor work done in His Son’s name without honoring the one who does that work!
There IS power in the name of Jesus!
They “appear” to be in the Kingdom, to represent the King of the Kingdom, and even to be advancing the Kingdom. In reality, they are not, nor ever will be in the Kingdom. Nor do they represent the King of the Kingdom!
~~~ They are advancing their own kingdom ~~~
He goes on to say, “You will know them by their fruits.”
THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Fruit here is not the supernatural results of their ministry!
It is the fruit of their character. Do they submit to real authority? Do they remain in healthy environments and relate to healthy [not perfect] leaders? Do they find fault easily?
This fruit Jesus said to inspect is not the supernatural activity in His name. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, or actually, the absence of the fruit of the Spirit.
These false ministers masquerade as sheep but are actually ravenous wolves.
A ravenous wolf is interested only in themselves. They “appear” to be beneficial to the sheep but their motives are impure and their agenda is self-centered.
They are devouring in their divisiveness. Outwardly they have the lingo of the Kingdom. Even to the point of being authentic! Inwardly, their reality is virtual, not real. Imagined, not substantive.
These ravenous wolves syphon off resources from legitimate ministries.
They are after resources, not the heart of God! The relationships they develop with Kingdom people and leaders are for the purpose of gaining access to the resources of the Kingdom!
They are greedy and cowardly!
These resources can be finances and or people. They are hungry for acceptance and support, both with money and people’s adulation. And they will do whatever they need to do to get both. They are not interested in what is best for the community of believers.
They are interested in what is best for themselves! “Buyer BEWARE!”
They have the “look at me” syndrome. They are typically self promoters or they align themselves with people who will promote them because of their gifts and charisma, not their character.
They migrate to weak people and weak leaders. They do not handle loving confrontation well. They “hear the Lord say”, ‘It’s time for you to move on because these people do not really love you, nor are they truly for you.’
“I’m led of the Lord” is their mantra but in their wake is usually many casualties of their self-centered lifestyle. They cannot stay in one place very long and they typically leave multiple places in controversy or conflict.
It does not matter what environment they are in. It is always the environment’s fault. They never realize they are the only common denominator in all of those environments, until they are confronted with that truth. Then they move on to another unsuspecting place with unsuspecting people.
These wolves can keep on operating because in our modern, post-modern, contemporary and relevant Christianity the leaders and people in the “next stop” never investigate why they left the previous stops.
Where are the true shepherds who will protect the sheep?
Unfortunately, it is not just the Catholic Church who allows predators to roam freely within their ranks. It is denominational and non-denominational Christianity as well.
Listen to the words of the Lord, the Good Shepherd, as He shuts the door in their face saying, “I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”
“Practice lawlessness?” I thought they practiced righteousness. They prophesied in Jesus’ name! They performed miracles in Jesus’ name! They even cast out demons in Jesus’ name! What on earth does Jesus mean?
Their lifestyle is lawless. In other words, they are law breakers. I do not believe Jesus is talking only about the 10 Commandments. I believe He is also talking about violating the established culture set up by legitimate God-ordained authorities. “The law” does NOT apply to them! They do what they want!
If you listen closely these false ministers, these ravenous wolves, will give themselves away with their own words. At some point you will hear them say something to the effect of, “Part of my call is to ‘push the envelope’ or ‘stretch the limits’ of the culture.
If they “feel” safe in their deception they may even say things like, “I know those in authority want us to do it this way but I . . . . .” They then go on to tell you how they are going to do it, or how it ought to be done, how it could be done better, and how they would do it IF they were “IN CHARGE.”
Finally, Jesus says to these wolves, “Depart from Me!”
Holiness is being separated unto the Lord. Here the Lord is saying, “Separate yourself away from Me!” Or, “I do NOT want you around Me.”
This is proof positive they and their work is UNholy!
This is important because He will NEVER separate Himself from legitimate ministers and ministry. To those who use Him for selfish gain He says, “Remove yourself from Me.”
And He says, “I NEVER knew you!”
These wolves constantly promoted themselves as knowing the Lord. They had no qualms in using His name for self-centered purposes. But the Day will come when their gig will be up and they will be exposed for the frauds they truly are.
I NEVER! Not once! Not at all!
KNEW! You and I were never intimate! We were never connected in the Spirit.
YOU! I don’t recognize you, the real you. You are not the same person I created or called!
You are the person you created and called. You are the person who used Me, used My name, used My people, used My resources and used My legitimate authorities.
Now, who are you?
Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!
Our hunger and thirst for God escorts us into deep satisfaction in God!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin