Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
– Matthew 7:15
As God’s children, though we are to be harmless and guileless, we must nevertheless be prudent (Matt. 10:16) so that others do not take advantage of us or harm us.
Facts to Teach:
- The Lord Jesus told us that all those who believe in Him and follow Him are like sheep (John 10:27). Sheep are noted for their harmlessness, meekness, and innocence. Sheep have no claws to attack or harm. Nor are their teeth used for tearing flesh, only for chewing grass. Thus they are harmless. Sheep do not resist or fight if they are attacked. Even a flock of hundreds of sheep, if attacked by one vicious animal, will not resist. They will only try to run away. Thus they are meek. When sheep are led gently they will even go willingly to the slaughter (Acts 8:3). This shows their innocence. God wants all of His children to be like the sheep: harmless, meek, and innocent.
- Most of the people in this world are not like sheep, they are more like the wolves. Wolves are not harmless, they are devouring. They are constantly on the search for a good meal, some animal that it can overpower, kill, and devour. They are not meek. They attack and hunt (Gen. 49:27). Wolves are not innocent. They use great skill and scheming to gradually wear down their victims until they finally are conquered. Wolves especially prey on animals that cannot defend themselves, such as lambs, deer, moose, elk, chickens, etc.
- If we live as children of our heavenly Father we may become the target of those people in the world who are wolves. They will see that we will not attack them to harm them, nor will we resist and fight to defend ourselves. Because we will only try to run away, they might especially feel safe to trouble us or lead us into danger. So we must be on the alert!
- Some wolves would be so crafty as to put on a sheepskin after killing it and use it as a disguise to be among the flock. Inside is a hungry wolf, outside it appears as an innocent sheep. The Lord Jesus told us to watch out for false disciples. They are like wolves. They may act nice and even pretend to be a friend, but they are actually an enemy! They like to lead others into wrong things that will eventually cause their destruction.
- As the Father‘s dear children, we need to always be alert and always practice wisdom (Matt. 10:16) with those who want to be our friends or leaders. We need to consider, “Is this person a wolf or a sheep?” How can we know? By their “fruits” (Matt. 16–20). A real sheep is innocent, meek, and harmless. A real sheep is gentle and peaceful. A real sheep would never oppose us when we want to do what is right and good. A real sheep would never discourage us from wanting to follow the Lord Jesus. We must be on the alert if anyone acts especially nice to us, or wants to be our friend or leader. We must try to know them by their “fruits,” by the way of life they live. Even if we feel pretty sure, it is still a good idea to talk it over with our parents.