“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30).
The Lord said even though they will claim to have prophesied in His name, and in His name driven out demons and performed many miracles, He will deny them entry into the kingdom saying, “I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers” (Matt. 7:22-23).
You would think with the advent of the written word, all this false teaching would have stopped, because believers could check what they were hearing against what the Bible says to see if they were being told the truth or not. But the reality is that even in countries where the Bible is readily available most believers simply don’t take the time to read and understand it. A great majority seems to be content with having someone else read it for them and then tell them what it says. These believers have always been fair game for the false teachers.
Even today, when information abounds, average Christians know very little about what the Bible really says. Many are more familiar with what false teachers tell them it says than what they know from their own study.
Keeping The Wolves At Bay
What’s the remedy for this, you might ask? How do we avoid being deceived by these savage wolves? The answer comes in just one word, wisdom.
James 1:5-8 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
It’s sad that so many believers who do read the Bible don’t ask the Lord for the wisdom to understand. But even among those who do ask not everyone receives it. This is because deep down most people have doubts about whether the Bible is the actual Word of God. They see conflicts between Biblical descriptions of certain events and what they have come to believe about these events from other sources. They are caught between the claims of an infallible God and the opinions of fallible man.
According to James, this makes them double-minded. He said they shouldn’t expect anything from the Lord. The only ones who ask for and receive wisdom are those who believe wholeheartedly that God is all that He claims to be, has done all that He claims to have done, and will do all that He has promised to do.
The Bible is a supernatural document that can only be understood by those who have been given supernatural ability (1 Cor. 2:14), but all true believers have access to this ability. It comes from the Holy Spirit who is sealed within us (Ephes. 1:13-14). Faith is the key that unlocks this ability because it takes faith to put aside our human understanding and accept God at his word. As you increase in faith, you will increase in understanding His Word, and as you increase in understanding His Word, you will increase in faith. It’s a never ending cycle.