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What the Bible says about Savage Wolves
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Ezekiel 34:1-31

Ezekiel condemns the ministry as a whole for being more concerned for self and paycheck than for the "sheep," the members of the church. Rather than helping, healing, and leading, government was often administered with force and cruelty. Talking the talk was followed far more frequently than walking the walk. God also charges them with defiling the doctrine, which verse 18 pictures as trodden pasture and fouled water. Paul, James, Peter, John, and Jude all warn about "wolves" at the end time infiltrating the flock, introducing another gospel, and rending the sheep.

Is it any wonder respect for the ministry is at low ebb? God Himself is very upset with shepherds who cared more for themselves than for the sheep. Through misuse and abuse, wolves in sheep's clothing ripped and tore the sheep. God and man deplore and reject such a ministry. The ministry today is in sad disarray, distrusted and despised by many. Some ministers are reckoned as hirelings who cared not for the sheep, but only for their paychecks. These men would compromise the truth, even teach what they knew was wrong, to retain their salaries. Zechariah 11:3 describes a forsaken ministry, howling over the loss of their flocks, which they mistreated.

Screaming for "respect for the ministry" will not help. These hurts can only be healed by proper example and time, combined with a forgiving heart, established by God, in those who have been harmed.

Because of these abuses, insidious Laodiceanism, and our natural proclivity to resent any government except our own, we have a church despised and blown apart by God Himself. (Read all of Lamentations, Ezekiel 22:25-29; and 24:21 to confirm who is behind the separation.)

Staff
For the Perfecting of the Saints

Acts 20:29

He calls these future apostates, these future false teachers, "savage wolves." Jude later calls them "brute beasts" (Jude 1:20). This conjures in our minds the idea that man's animalistic nature—what one could call the physical side of man's nature, what he shares with the beasts—is driving these false teachers. It is not necessarily their minds and their ideas that are driving them but their bodies, their desires, their lusts, and they want these lusts satiated in some way. It is not just eating, drinking, sex, and similar carnal needs, but also the base desires that men have for gain, for standing atop the pack, for glory and prestige. These false teachers are letting their "animal nature" get the best of them.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jude

Acts 20:29-30

Paul specifically says these apostates will rise up from among the ministry. In verse 29, he says that "savage wolves will come in among you," and in verse 30, that "among yourselves men will rise up." They will be people in leadership positions or those who are considered to be pillars in the church and highly respected. Thus, they are in an advantageous position, from their point of view, to do the most damage.SS

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jude

Jude 1:10

Jude calls the false teachers "brute beasts," just as Paul called them "savage wolves" (Acts 20:29) and Jesus called them "ravenous wolves" "in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15). They have sunk down to the level of animals in that their only desire is to satiate their lusts, the drives that we share with animal kind: food, security, sex, power, authority, prestige. They really cannot comprehend the higher values because they only think in terms of gratifying themselves. If one attempts to convince them of their error from the Scripture, they will never get it because they simply do not care. All they want is what they think is theirs—their position, their food, their sexual gratifcation, their prestige. The object of their desire makes no difference. If they want it, if they feel they need it, no one can convince them from pursuing it in most cases because they are on an entirely different—lower—level. They are being driven purely by their physical desires.

Paul ran into this problem in Corinth. Notice I Corinthians 15:32—34:

If in the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

People in Corinth were already using such fallacious arguments as saying the resurrection was already past in order to do whatever they wanted to do sexually, or as Paul mentions in chapter 11, to gorge themselves at the feasts and drink until they could hardly stand. The idea here is they used illogic, as far as we are concerned, to justify doing whatever they pleased. It is almost impossible to talk such people out of what they are doing.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jude


 




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