The Wolves Will Come Knocking

Luisa Collopy

Contributing Writer
Published Feb 07, 2024
The Wolves Will Come Knocking

The wolves are false prophets. They share their man-made theologies sprinkled with Scripture to legitimately sound biblical.

Do you remember the story of Little Red Riding Hood? Little Red Riding Hood was on her way to see her sick grandma when she met the wolf in the woods. In their exchange, she revealed her grandma’s address. The wolf thought to himself: “What a tender young creature! What a nice plump mouthful! She will be better than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both.”

The wolf “must act craftily.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines "craftily" as an adverb, acting “in a way that is clever, and sometimes also slightly dishonest.” If you search for synonyms, these words will pop up: calculating, deviously, disingenuously, underhanded, and so on. The wolf, pretending to be nice and friendly, desired to eat both Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood. He was hatching a plan to make this happen.

The Bible Talks About Wolves

Watching some videos on a shepherd’s life in the Middle East, you find one herding sheep mostly in harsh-looking topography. In these areas, wild animals, like wolves, lurk and wait for a straying sheep or a sick one that cannot keep up with the rest. And if the shepherd is not being mindful, the wolf can easily pounce on it and drag it to where it can be killed and eaten.   

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warned us with these words: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (7:15). Let’s break this down.

The wolves are dressed in sheep’s clothing. Clothed in treachery, some are still incognito and biding their time to gather more straying and sick sheep. They usually have charismatic personalities and access to some of the largest church pulpits and other teaching platforms. They have a loyal audience who sits and listens and follows them…blindly...with a large influence on their followers’ life decisions. 

The wolves are inwardly ravenous. They know the power of Jesus Christ, drawing multitudes to Himself who have traveled all over to hear His teachings. So, they hunger to have the same power to attract crowds. Pretending to be His mouthpiece, they are careful to show that they "need" the Savior themselves.  

The wolves are false prophets. They share their man-made theologies sprinkled with Scripture to legitimately sound biblical. They appeal to the emotions of people, focusing on “no judgment” and “no offense” to others because God is all about love and grace. They like to tickle the ears of people and make them comfortable where they are rather than challenge them to reflect on living a life worthy of being called a follower of Christ. 

False and hungry! Aren’t these biblical wolves exactly what Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf was? The wolf’s grand idea was to devour the two, so he made himself acceptable, suggesting that granddaughter pick some flowers for Grandma. Then, the wolf ran to Grandma’s house, disguised as Little Red Riding Hood, to quickly eat Grandma before pretending to be Grandma to enjoy his next meal out of the granddaughter. 

Beware of the Wolves!

We are told to “beware of false prophets… [the] ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). It makes sense that we are also taught how to spot them: “You will recognize them by their fruits” (v.16). It’s interesting to note that we are always told to check the tree—if healthy or not—and the fruit—if good or bad. If you have fruit-bearing trees in your backyard, you watch out for their growth, making sure they are pest-free and receiving the right amount of water and sun. Once they start bearing fruit, you also care for them, keeping them away from birds and insects. We like to pick the perfect fruits to enjoy, throwing out those that are not.

Here are some guidelines on how we can discern the hungry wolves from the real shepherd:

1. Does the teacher have the Spirit of God? 

1 John 4:2-3 says, “If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.” It is important to note that false prophets are already living among us, “prophesying, casting out demons and doing mighty works in His name” (Matthew 7:22). Test the spirit that lives in the people proclaiming the Word of God.

2. Is the teacher living according to the Word? 

“Show yourself in all aspects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:7-8).

Let’s be fruit inspectors!

3. Does the teacher care for the spiritual needs of the flock? 

Titus talked about teaching “what accords with sound doctrine… what is good… that the word of God may not be reviled… so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:1, 3, 5, 10). You can determine the spiritual temperature of the body of believers if the teacher encourages them to be like the Bereans instead of telling them to take his word as truth. The Bereans “received the word [of Paul and Silas] with all eagerness, [but examined] the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:10). 

4. Is the teacher creating unity among the body of believers? 

“Since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other… If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us” (1 John 4:11-12). Loving one another strengthens the Body of Christ. This is crucial to the teaching of abiding in Jesus so we can know and grow to love God more, which, in turn, teaches us to love others.

A 2021 article by Ruth Graham in The New York Times said that “Christian ‘prophets’…are stars within one of the fastest-growing corners of American Christianity.” So, beware! Many are teaching via social media, writing books, and doing speaking rounds. And who would not want to listen to them when they avoid all the difficult truths in the Bible such as sin, God’s wrath, etc., focusing mostly on love, compassion, and peace? They also sensationalize the chaos happening around us, throwing snippets from the Bible, and seemingly connecting the dots to current events. Unfortunately, many rely heavily on their words instead of reading the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s truth.

Keep the Door Shut!

The grandmother in the story of Little Red Riding Hood told the wolf to lift the door latch and let himself in. She was immediately devoured. That door was wide open when Little Red Riding Hood arrived and was eventually swallowed up. 

In an alternative version, Little Red Riding Hood got to Grandma’s house first. She told Grandma about meeting the wolf along the way, so Grandma said, “Well, we will shut the door, that he may not come in.”

Yes, we need to do exactly what Grandma suggested: Shut the door to the ravenous wolves, the false prophets looking to trap God’s sheep! Do not engage! Do not allow them to schmooze with their smooth words! 

John said, “You already have won a victory over [the false prophets], because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world… We belong to God, and those who know God listen [to the one who has the Spirit of God]. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen [to the one who has the Spirit of God]. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception” (1 John 4: 4, 6, paraphrased). 

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Vincent Van Zalinge

Luisa Collopy is an author, speaker and a women’s Bible study teacher. She also produces Mula sa Puso (From the Heart) in Tagalog (her heart language), released on FEBC Philippines stations. Luisa loves spending time with her family over meals and karaoke!