In John 10, in the Lord’s teaching about the Shepherd and His sheep, there are seven people mentioned,
Those who are good – the Shepherd, the Doorkeeper, and the Sheep,
and those who are bad – the Hired Servant, the Thief, the Robber, and the Wolf.
How then should we recognise these four enemies? The Apostle Paul gives us some helpful warning advice –
“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31
Sadly Paul’s warning has become the recipe for disaster within many churches and fellowships down the centuries. But there have always been godly men who put the welfare of others before their own comfort, and serve the flock, guard the flock (doorkeepers) andcounsel members to follow the life-style of our Lord Himself, as revealed in the Gospels.
Paul spoke of false brethren, and false apostles. The Lord spoke about false prophets, Peter abut false teachers. Doubtless there will always be tares among the wheat until the end, and the warnings have been sounded often and clear.
Please, Lord, help us to be peacemakers, guardians, counsellors, who show love and compassion to members of our flock, and courtesy towards those of other flocks, that God’s love may overcome the frailty of the flesh, and resist the incursions of enemies in our midst.
In perils among false brethren. 2 Cor.11:26
And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, thatthey might bring us into bondage. Gal.2:4
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 2 Cor.11:13
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matt.7:15