Many years ago, some young man used to startle us in my rural area. He would go down to the village month-end and holidays driving different and top-of-the-range cars.
No one really new what he was doing for a living except that he had gone to Harare after poor O Level results. Because of his seemingly affluent status, he would go out with many girls of loose morals.
He actually fathered many children with different girls whom he would promise to marry next time he returned to the village. We were later to learn that he was a false prophet in Glen View, Harare.
He would take cars of unsuspecting members purporting to cleanse them of bad omen that was said to be waiting to involve the owners in road accidents.
This false prophet died of AIDS many years ago, but there are still similar ones out there. My heart always goes out to those in the world who would one day want to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and join a church.
They may be led to a church like the one above. Evangelists and intercessors; you have work to do. While the sheep face the possibility of being conned and manipulated, the genuine shepherd also faces the resistance of a world that is wary and afraid of being duped and misled. I write today with an advice to both the sheep and the shepherd. Be wise but innocent.
Sending out His disciples, Jesus warns them in Matthew 10:16: Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. When the preacher goes out to preach he faces a world that has its own socio-economic political, religious and cultural conditions which will impact on the acceptance and spread of the Gospel of Christ.
The devil penetrates these arenas and marshals his attack. The preacher has to ward off persecution and resist attack by the Anti-Christ in these spheres. We are aware that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but we know that Satan uses people.
As Pauls says in 2 Corinthians 2:11: For we are not ignorant of his devices. The preacher therefore has to be wise and cunning as a snake yet still harmless as a dove. Be ready to fight the devil and have warm hands to comfort the sheep.
In the following weeks I am going to discuss some of the warnings that Jesus gave us, namely false prophets, leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herod. The terrain will be a bit rough and today I have come just to prepare you.
I will be touching many nerves and some will have to tighten seat belts as we navigate through. These pose great danger to your spiritual growth. The false prophet plays around with your spirit while the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees hits on your intellect and remove the spirit of the Word of God.
Havent you ever read a book or article or watched on television a teaching that seemed to be so sensible, but drew you away from Jesus? The Herodians on the other hand deal with the political environment and the so-called bread and butter issues and hit you on your weaker points and vulnerable condition.
Whenever the Word of God is taught, it has to draw you to Jesus not to man. If you are in sin, the Holy Spirit has to convict and lead you to salvation. Jesus has to be the central theme and the only solution and answer.
In these last of the last days, the Anti-Christ is on the prowl and is targeting the true prophets and everyone that is following the gospel of truth. Ministers of the Word and Christians have to remain focussed and committed.
We shall reveal next week who really these Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians are, and you shall appreciate the need to be wise as a serpent yet harmless as a dove. Your protection is to stay in the Word and always read the Bible day and night so that you are not led astray.
Always yearn for and ask God for spirit of discernment. Be always prayerful. Paul instructs us in Philippians 2:15: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Refuse to be moved by false doctrine and let you light continue to shine; you are going somewhere.
All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
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