Do not be afraid of wicked men of this world. Their time is coming and the Lord will be the judge of them. But do not be fooled into thinking they are only the people who are out in the mainstream of power, influence, and the secular world. In this day and age, they are right in the middle of churches. Even voted into the seats of authority, behind the pulpit, and at the helm of many Christian organizations and charities.
Beware of them. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and led by the spirit of the devil seeking to deceive, lie, kill, and pull away many from the true knowledge of God. Some may be plotting along the path of destruction unknowingly but God says those who know what to do and do not do it, to them it is sin. They will have no excuse because of their conscience.
“Beware of false prophets(teachers), who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20
There are still some who walk in righteousness, humility, and an upright heart, led by the Spirit of God. But many have turned to their own ways and devices. They have become enthralled in entertainment, learning intellectualism, doctrine, theology, and following the teachings of man. Their true motive is to build themselves up on the backs of the small to make sure everyone can see how high and mighty they are. But remember this saying, and take it to heart, “the bigger they are the harder they will fall.”
Be careful not to follow their ways. They have become tainted by their own sinful desires. Their fruits are the opposite of the fruits of the Spirit. They demonstrate boastful, arrogant, and ill-intentioned hearts. They have puffed themselves up instead of becoming humble and a servant of all. They seek their own gain with great selfish ambition and a haughty spirit to be a ruler over the flock. A leader over the Church with a worldly kind of authority. The most important characteristics of a leader which are love, patience, and mercy, they know nothing of.
Pray to the Lord that He may give you eyes to see and ears to hear, steering you clear from them. They are crafty and sound good to the untrained ear. But they use some truth mixed with lies, which produces nothing but lies. Unfortunately, multitudes are already deceived by them and they will not spare the flock.
What you need to do is study for yourself the Word of God and seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit. He will teach what is true in all things. In this way, by seeking the Word directly from the Lord you will learn how to decern truth from falsehood.
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. Acts 20:29-31
This is what Jude warns of and it would behoove you to keep a sharp eye out for those who do not follow the word and ways of Jesus Christ. Those who are not humble and who do not promote godliness in a wicked world.
But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.
These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. Jude 1:10-13
I tell you there will be a great punishment for those men and women who declare the Lord Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit and yet are vile in heart, mind, and soul, and led His little ones into sin.
And He(Jesus) said to His disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, Luke 17:1-3
There will come a day when the Lord Jesus Christ will make all things new, and the wicked and haughty will be no more. The fool and the deaf of spirit will become wise and will hear and understand what is right, holy, and true. All things will be made good in the eyes of the Lord.
But until that day, be watchful, careful, and sober-minded. Ask the Lord to reveal the snakes and the wolves so that you may avoid being fooled and befuddled by their smooth and crafty speech. That they may be rebuked and others saved from their deadly speech.
For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things, he stands. Isaiah 32:6-8