Do Not Fear The Wolf's Whisper

home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > June 9th > Do Not Fear The Wolf’s Whisper

Do Not Fear The Wolf's WhisperIs it really a fair fight? I mean, seriously? Jesus described our spiritual foe as a ravenous wolf, and His followers as a flock of sheep! Seriously, is it really a fair fight for the unwitting, unrelenting, ravenous, blood-thirsty, devious wolf who has already been defeated by ‘the Lamb of God’? Is it really a fair fight for the spiritual demonic wolves who now know they have been de-fanged and de-clawed by the Lamb who has now given His authority and power to His flock so that “these signs will accompany those who believe: in My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18)? No. It is not a fair fight for the wolf, and the fight is only going to get worse for it. And this is why all members of the flock of Christ should never fear the wolf that Jesus warned us about or the wolf’s whisper!

 

THE WOLF’S DEVIOUS MISSION

The wolf’s mission is to undermine God’s will and plan by “snatching” and “scattering” Christ’s flock (Jn. 10:12). The wolf only has one strategy: deception. It uses this strategy in various forms, such as lying, stealing, killing, and destroying – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (Jn. 10:10a) which all begins with a whisper into the minds of people.

The picture of a wolf was only one of the descriptions that Christ and His apostles used to describe the forces of evil. The members of this defeated force of evil are also described as beastsbullsserpents, and their defeated enraged former prince was referred to as “a great red dragon” (Rev. 12:39). We should be under no illusion that while Christ has defeated the enemies of our souls, we are still engaged in a dangerous post-war series of battles where our enemy seeks to plant deceptive thoughts into the minds of people – even believers. This is why the New Testament presents the battle-plan for every believer:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
Second Corinthians 10:3-5

The wolves who seek to “snatch” sheep from Christ’s flock – the believer’s local church – also seek to “scatter” the flock of Christ through whispers of deception. We are in a cosmic battle that Christ expects we can win in His Name and strength because He has now sent His Spirit to aid us to to withstand these devious whispers of the evil ones!

What the closing book of the Bible reveals about this cosmic battle between the Champion of Good (depicted in Revelation as the ‘Arnion’ – translated into English as the [little] Lamb) and the villainous dragon, is that appearances can be misleading. (This was surely one of the main purposes of Christ giving this revelation to John to deliver to the beleaguered members of the seven churches of Asia Minor as they attempted to withstand the onslaught of Satan’s-puppet-Rome’s three-and-a-half-years of bloody persecution of Christians from AD64.) Despite appearances, the little Lamb who was brutalised then crucified on the cross of shame, would be ultimately be revealed as the all-conquering Victor over all evil, sin, death, wickedness, and especially the fallen-prince-turned-evil-dragon!

Saying with a loud voice,“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea,
and all that is in them, saying,“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:12-13

 

OUR UNSEEN ENEMIES DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW 

The truth is, our unseen enemies have now been defeated and have only one weapon at their disposal: lies. And they do not want you to know this!

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth,
because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character,
for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44

These devilish wolves who whisper into our unseen ears with their subtle yet hideous lies, such as “God doesn’t really love you!” “You’re not really a Christian! If you were really a Christian you wouldn’t sin, or doubt, or worry!” “You can’t belong to church – church is only for true Christians who live holy lives – and you certainly don’t!” (Can you see through these lies? Can see that these invisible wolves are simply doing what Christ warned us they would try to do – snatch sheep from the fold, and, scatter the flock by isolating the sheep from each other through deceptions?)

Wolves love to hunt at night. Their howls are exaggerated by the darkness. The darkness also deceives their intended prey into thoughts of intimidation and unnecessary anxiety. Spiritual wolves are no different. Note how John’s Gospel often uses the word “night” to highlight deceptiveness of the evil ones (Jn. 9:411:10:10; 13:30).

At the root of our worst fears is our greatest fear – the fear of the unknown. (I suspect that the popular support for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill unfairly took advantage of this crippling fear!) The aged Dr. F.W. Boreham would write in his autobiography –

Like the medieval saint, we can testify that
we have had many and great troubles in our time,
but most of them never happened!
Dr. F. W. Boreham, “My Pilgrimage”, p.221

In support of this discovery about how we fear, we might paraphrase something that Mark Twain wrote as – 

“Our worst fears are the ones which never eventuate!”

 

“YOU SHEEP BEAR A STRANGE FAMILY RESEMBLANCE
TO THE AGNUS DEI!”

When you gave your life to Christ, the Lamb of God, the apostle John tells us in his epistle that the Father did something profound to your soul. Not only was a dead soul made alive, not only were your blind eyes opened, not only was your indifferent and calloused heart taken out and a new healthy heart transplanted into you, but God placed the spiritually-genetic code with the likeness of His Son into your sou! Whether you realise or not, if you are a follower of Christ you are more than a follower of Christ! In the unseen realm you now have a striking resemblance to Christ!

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning,
for God’s seed [Greek word: ‘sperma’] abides in him;
and he cannot keep on sinning,
because he has been born of God.
First John 3:9

Thus, as the devilish wolves bear a resemblance to their defeated, evil, fallen, and former prince, we, the sheep of God’s pasture, bear an even more striking resemblance to the Lamb of God (in Latin: the Agnus dei). No wonder the forces of evil want to destroy you. You, we, because of our redeemed new natures, now bear a striking resemblance in the spiritual realm to the Lamb of God who defeated the dragon and his hordes of imbecilic and doomed beings! But what many redeemed sons and daughters of God may not be aware of is that we have all been gifted with armour and weaponry which makes us invincible to to schemes of the unseen wolf pack. Thus the apostle Paul could write:

If you forgive anyone for anything, I also forgive him—
for indeed what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything)
I did so for you in the presence of Christ,
so that we may not be exploited by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes).
Second Corinthians 2:10-11

 

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE WHISPERS OF WOLVES

Let us never underestimate the ferocity of the unseen battle that we are in. Our invisible wolfish enemies are relentless in their efforts to deceive God’s people. The truth is that we far outnumber them. This is why they particularly target those they can manipulate to perpetuate their deceit. We have seen that it was the devil himself who continually encircled the original twelve disciples of Christ seeking the most the influential among them to do its bidding. We get a shocking picture of this revealed in Matthew 16 just after Jesus had asked His disciples who others said He was:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah!
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 16:15-17

But within seconds it became apparent that Simon Peter had an unseen enemy whisper something false but appealing into his mind:

¶ From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem
and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed,
and on the third day be raised.  And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him,
saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a hindrance to Me.
For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Matthew 16:21-23

Jesus later revealed to Peter, after He had dismissed Judas and Satan (Jn. 13:27) from the upper room where Jesus was delivering His Farewell Discourse, that Satan had actually wanted Simon Peter as his agent of betrayal of Christ: 

¶ “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again,
strengthen your brothers.”
Luke 22:31-32

It is difficult to miss then how susceptible we all are to the wicked scheming of the enemy—if even the leader of the apostles could have an undetected devilish whisper pass from his mind to his lips, then perhaps we could too. This is why Christ said that the devil would also seek to use Church leaders to also serve as his wolves (Matt. 7:15). However, Christ has ensured that we have an advantage that Simon Peter did not have at that time. After Christ ascended he not only led some of the most threatening fallen heavenly beings into permanent captivity (Eph. 4:8), He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit into the world to abide in each believer through the available baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:438-39). Thus, each believer, each sheep of the flock of God now has the authority and power to withstand the whispers of the devilish wolves! 

 

THWARTING THE WHISPERS OF WOLVES

The spiritually on-guard sheep within Christ’s fold know that these wolves which Christ described in John 10:12 scheme against Christ’s flock by attempting to whisper into the minds of vulnerable believers thoughts that would isolate them from the flock, and even seek to scatter their flock from their fold. Knowing all this, here are five ways that any believer can thwart the whispers of the devil’s unseen wolves, by fighting in the following ways:

  1. Stay in the fold – resist the wolf’s whisper to separate from the fold (your local church).
  2. Stay connected to your food source – resist the wolf’s whisper to neglect your daily feeding from your reading of God’s Word.
  3. Stay in communication with the Lamb of God – withstand the wolf’s whisper to give up praying to God.
  4. Stay behind the shield of God’s truth – detect and reject the lies of the wolf’s whispers compared to the truth of God’s Word.
  5. Stay focused on the Lamb on the Throne – the wolf’s whispers seek to distract/divert/disillusion you from the One they hate, but the One you adore – who also adores you.  

For these reasons, you actually have no need to fear the whispers from a devilish wolf. But it is a constant, unrelenting battle that every believer is engaged in, which requires these five pieces of armour and weaponry. Our unseen enemies are more afraid of you when you in the fold of Christ, than you could ever be of them. This is why every time we baptise another redeemed soul we are taking “territory” from our invisible enemy. And this is why we need every battle-hardened senior follower of Christ to learn from what Jesus told Simon Peter who had also been targeted by the enemy, “Satan demanded to have you…but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32a). That is, we need to pray for each other also that our faith in Christ may not fail. And I pray that your faith may not fail either!

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RELATIONSHIP SKILLS

This year we have been laying a foundation for knowing God and then each Sunday building upon it. Throughout June we are focusing on how knowing God enables us to find our joy in Him and consequently to discover that He enables us to find joy in our relationships with others. But sadly, for many people who have vowed to love, serve, and follow Jesus, this has not always been easy to do. This is why the current sub-theme of humility is critically important if someone desires to truly experience joy in each of their various relationships with others. 

KNOWING GOD

In the past few months, we have been hearing in Church and also by reading the Pastor’s Desks that through the Psalms and by the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, we can know God more. The Psalms show God as our Shepherd, God’s character is unchanging, we can be still and know Him, and that He is poetic. The Fruit of the Spirit reminds us that God is faithful, gentle and kind, and that we need to stay close to Him in the same way a baby gets nutrients from its mother through the umbilical cord. Knowing these things, we can become more like God as He helps us outwork His character in our lives. Philippians 3:10 challenged me in this regard some time ago.

RULES RULES AND MORE RULES

What comes to mind when you hear the word Rules? For some, it is a welcome relief to all the chaos surrounding us. Rules can provide comfort, safety, stability, predictability and protection. But for many others, as soon as you hear the word rules, it causes you to sigh loudly, followed by the instant urge to do the opposite. It can cause an immense sense of frustration along with that feeling of being boxed or caged in. Then some rules are plain silly as they make no sense, or there appears to be no apparent reason for why the rule/s exists in the first place. 

The Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing FruitThe Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing Fruit

Jesus’ allegory in John 15:1-17 of the vine and the branches provides a beautiful picture of the intimate and living relationship available to those who would abide in Him, the true Vine; and it illustrates how naturally the Holy Spirit is able to produce fruit in the lives of those who are willing to be branches abiding in the vine.

Knowing God Through The Fruit Of The Spirit

I’m sure you can picture an occasion where food delicacies are served and someone is there who has lost all sense of decorum to the point of being rude to get to the food before others and is unable or unwilling to engage in any level of conversation for the sake of finding the choicest of foods. Maybe that was you or me on occasions. Or an All You Can Eat challenge restaurant. It is a picture of complete lack of self-restraint (especially if Homer Simpson is involved). Whilst we are away, I am looking forward to visiting a town (Kenilworth) with a bakery tourist attraction that sells 1kg doughnuts. I’m not sure what will happen there, but I can imagine many have risen to a challenge.

WHAT CHARMING BETRAYERS DESERVE ACCORDING TO THE PSALM OF KING DAVID, NUMBER 55

Australia is now grappling with a national crisis — the violent abuse of women by men. Every four days in Australia a woman is being murdered [Source]. The sad probability is that she was murdered by “a current or former intimate partner” [Source]. But added to this alarming statistic is the even greater and more horrifying statistic of number of women who are experiencing abuse – physical; sexual; verbal; financial; psychological – daily. In fact, it is so prevalent that most people working in this arena know that most domestic abuse incidents in Australia are not reported. Abuse is oppression. And since the Bible is so clear and consistent in its condemnation of oppression of the vulnerable you would naturally assume that this national crisis was being thundered and denounced as a great evil from the majority of pulpits around our country at the moment. This assumption is further reinforced by the guesstimate that one-in-four women in every Australian church is regularly abused in some way by a man. But I suspect that it is not.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 23

My cat, Lola, had a beautiful, fluffy, soft coat. I had her for 13 years so I knew her very well. She loved a cuddle and snuggling at night sleeping in the crook of my arm. She loved me but with others she could be a rascal, hissing or swiping her claws. She never scoffed her food but was a grazer. It was common to hear her crunching her biscuits for a midnight snack and she loved ice cream. She loved hiding in cardboard boxes or in the pantry. She particularly hated the car evidenced by her continual mournful meowing til she got out. As I knew her, she also knew me. She knew I would feed her and give her pats or cuddles. When I called her she knew my soft voice, my touch, my smell. She knew my growly voice when she had done the wrong thing. When I’d take her to the vet she would be still in my arms as the vet examined her and vaccinated her. If she was injured or sick I would look after her.

KNOWING GOD THROUGH PSALM 22

The Bible is an amazing book. As we look through the book of Psalms we can so unbelievably clearly see God at work. And also most poignantly, this Psalm – Psalm 22 – prophetically points to, and closely mirrors Jesus and the events of the cross mentioned in the New Testament. This Psalm is well over 1000 years prior to Jesus.There are some well known passages of Scripture that stand out as being prophetic promises of the Messiah. These prophetic words show us that God is Omniscient; He knows everything. The first Messianic prophecy shows that the seed of the woman would eventually defeat the devil.

THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARS

home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > April 12th > THIS IS HOW AN EXPERT SUCCESSFULLY FOUGHT SPIRITUAL WARSThe distance between the spiritual dimension and our earthly-material dimension is a lot thinner than most people realise! This means that there is a direct...

KNOWING GOD THROUGH THE PSALMS

So many thriller movies are just funny. Of course they are not meant to be and many people would find them more like nightmare material. The producers would be horrified to see me giggling at some of their ‘scary’ bits, but it’s just the way I’m wired. I see more of the special effects than the story line and I see the absurdity of the scenes that lack the necessary rules of consistency instead of the fear factor they hope. I once watched a movie where the victim lay dead bleeding from the mouth but the make-up blood had not dripped to the ground with gravity, but rather, accidentally dripped up. The whole movie just became hilarious from that point on.