Archive for the ‘Wolves in Sheeps Clothing’ Category

The Pied Piper was supposed to be a savior of sorts to the people of Hamelin. He would rid the town of its rat infestation once and for all and charge only one-thousand guilders for doing so. The mayor, in a moment of elation, offered more coin than that, but he didn’t really mean it.

If you are familiar with the story, you will know that the piper did free the town of its four-legged rats, but the rats that ran the town council cheated him of his pay. Bent on revenge, therefore, the pied piper then lured all of the children away –never to return. This was easily accomplished. As the piper had previously told the council, “I’m able, by means of a secret charm, to draw all creatures living beneath the sun…”

I have often thought the tale of the Pied Piper to be an excellent metaphor of how easily God’s children are led astray. Let’s consider, for a moment, some of the similarities.

Our adversary, the devil, wanted “payment” for his self-perceived greatness, but God refused. Angry, and bent on revenge, that old devil sought to lead God’s children away from Him forever. Like the pied piper, he arrogantly believes that he is able, by means of a secret charm, to draw all creatures living beneath the sun.

If the devil were to show his true colors, none of God’s children would ever be foolish enough to follow him. Therefore, he clothes himself brightly, and deceitfully appears as an angel of light, enticing those who are willing to follow him with enchantments hard to refuse.

“Into the street the Piper stept,
Smiling first a little smile,
As if he knew what magic slept
In his quiet pipe the while…”

You wouldn’t think that God’s children could be so easily beguiled, but the devil has been sharpening his skills from the dawn of time. Therefore, he knows full well how to appeal to mankind’s carnal natures. Ironically, the devil’s deceptions often come in religious wrappings.

Scripture aptly teaches that the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3 NIV). Obviously, this passage is speaking of those believers who willfully follow the sweet music of certain theological pied pipers.

Sadly, some believers earnestly seek truth yet fail to discern unsound doctrine simply because they trust in the undeserved “credibility” of those false teachers. I certainly don’t want to speak against any of God’s truly appointed ministers, but I do want to encourage you, dear reader, to make sure that those ‘big name’ ministers, from whose tables you have been dining, are truly men and women of God!

Again, Scripture says: Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15).

We have been warned! There are pied pipers (aka wolves) out there, wearing minister’s garb, who are leading people astray. It is quite easy to follow these kinds of leaders because they are very charismatic. Furthermore, most of their teachings are biblically based; which explains why these ‘ministers’ gain such popularity despite their spiritual corruption.

Nevertheless, being deceived is certainly no sin and it can happen to all of us at some time or another. How, then, do we guard against the deception of these false “ministers of righteousness.”

First: Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). If you KNOW the truth, you won’t be easily deceived by that which isn’t.

Second: It is important that we know those who labor among us; we should carefully examine the teachings of every spiritual leader we are inclined to follow. If any of those teachings fail to line-up with scripture, we should seriously reconsider our affiliation with that person, no matter who they are -or how spiritual they seem to be.

Please understand, I am not talking about those who maintain a slightly different interpretation of Scripture than ours; that is to be expected to a certain degree. Rather, I am talking about those whose teachings are in direct contradiction of Scripture.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16: 17 18). Like the pied piper of Hamelin, these false teachers have the gift of charm and they are using it for their own profit.

Praise God for the faithful ministers who unashamedly preach and teach the truth of God’s word! Let us give them our full support. As to supporting these spiritual pied pipers, however, let us say no. We should tell them the same thing the good people of Hamelin told their city council:

“Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking,
To find the remedy [you are] lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we’ll send you packing!”

Browning, Robert. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. London: Frederick Warne and Co., Ltd., 1888
*book quotes are on pages 14, 17, and 13 consecutively. Photo taken from page 41

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