There is no Hope for a Wolf in Wool

Mat 21:19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

Luk 10:13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

You have heard me say many times that abusers never change. Not the kind we deal with here. The conscienceless, power and control hungry, sociopathic/narcissitic cruel taskmaster. And most of them wear wool. That is to say, they are wolves who look to devour, but they disguise themselves as sheep.

There are MANY scriptures in the Bible that speak about this kind of person. The Pharisees and scribes (with very rare exceptions like Paul and Nicodemus, who as I have recently written, were not abusers as we define them), the wicked kings of Israel like Ahab or his evil wife, Jezebel, Pharoah, the citizens of the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. Think on this carefully. We are never presented with such people in scripture as people who there is great hope of salvation for. Why? Because they know. What they do, they do intentionally, knowing full well that…well, here it is:

Rom 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Think of the domestic abusers whose evil deeds we hear about time after time after time. Their victims tell about it. They tell us how this evil one is regarded as the most pious saint in his church, how he is so popular and charming and everyone just thinks he is wonderful, and yet behind the scenes….you know too well what goes on there.

Recently I had an appointment and as it turned out, an evil man our church had to deal with many years ago was scheduled at the same time. He didn’t even recognize me (have you ever noticed this phenomenon – that such a wicked person is so caught up in themselves that they suppress and forget the evil things they have done and the people they have doen them to?). But I knew him. The people in the office where I had my appointment took note of him and said to me – “he’s such a wonderful man.” Well, I took the opportunity to do a bit of educating. “No he isn’t,” I said. “Let me tell you about him.” Their response? “I would never have guess he would do such a thing.”

But he does do such things. The wicked of his kind do such things because they are of their father the devil. He is a murderer and a liar. They are murderers and liats. He puts on a disguise of angelic light. They put on the same disguise. And what I am saying here is that there is no hope for such a person. They know. But they will not do. They know what the Lord requires. They know who the Lord is. And yet they choose to USE the Lord and His church for their own evil self-glory seeking designs. Year after year. Decade after decade.

They will perish in their sins. Do not pity them.

An Appearance of Godliness (Part 22) – It’s Always Your Fault – Really?

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

Still another mark of evil in disguise concerns this matter of accusation. Remember, a central word in the Bible for an abuser is “reviler.” A reviler is a person who villifies. Who makes someone else the villain. He is an accuser, and he or she is NEVER at fault. It is always YOU. This is devilish in its very nature.

This thing sneaks up on us. The wicked one portrays themselves as pious (that means “godly”), a real saint, holiness incarnate as he spews out Bible verses, cranks out “Christian” jargon, and just seems to be on a higher plane of godliness than anyone else. “He is the godliest person I have ever known,” a lady said to me once in my office. She was talking about a counterfeit who had been in the church for years, being the “go to” man who was ready to “serve” others no matter the cost to him. But recently his true self had been exposed. He blew up right in a church service, screamed and reviled the pastor, shouting “WE built this church and YOU don’t belong here!” The lady was confused. “I don’t understand. He is such a godly man.”

These kind of evildoers are NEVER to blame. You are the one. It is your fault. You are the one who has done wrong. You did wrong before and now you are doing wrong again. The split in the church is your fault. The children are suffering and it is your fault. I lost my temper and it is your fault. You are lazy. You are stupid. You are….yada, yada, yada go the accusations.

Think about this carefully. The amazing thing is that this kind of wicked person can keep us apologizing, saying sorry, shaming ourselves, for DECADES! It must be true. I must be the problem.

1Ki 18:17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?”

But Elijah wasn’t the troubler. Wicked Ahab was.

A chief mark of Ahab and his kind is that they never say, without qualification, that they are sorry. That they did wrong. That it was their fault. Oh, you will have these words spoken sometimes by a reviler, but the motive is never true contrition. Most often however, it is simply “you are the one to blame here.” “You always.” “You never.”

I have seen many of these kind in the churches these nearly 40 years now of being a pastor. And I wore a LOT of unnecessary guilt for a long time because of their accusations. One time, after myself and our elders had wised up to one of the worst revilers I have ever known, we put this man out of the church. When we told him that he was never to come here again (and we told him why – because he assaults people with his mouth), he looked at the other two elders, pointed to me, and said “You are going to have to give an account to God for letting this happen.” By “this,” he meant because they had supported me in my preaching of the first sermon series on domestic abusers (which he had almost violently opposed). He meant that they were to blame for him being put out of the church and for others leaving. They were to blame because they didn’t fire me.

And by the way, as a side note, just seconds later he looked at me and said, “we’ve known each other for many years and we did have some good times together, right?” See it? Just like that. The two faces. One a mask, the other the face of wickedness.

But think about this. In his efforts to STOP what has turned out to be a ministry richly and obviously blessed by God, he not only pronounced shame and guilt and judgment on us, he actually said that God condemns us too. One of the devil’s chief weapons, you know, is “God.” It is Scripture. Not in truth of course. No, a “god” who is manufactured by the evil one. A Bible that is twisted and perverted, just as Satan used Scripture to try to justify his temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. “God will judge you for this because you did not stop this!’

And another side note – that same man went right down the road and joined another church and within a short time he was made an elder there. That church never once contacted me for any kind of reference or background check. They simply took him at his word and handed the flock over to him.

What are the odds that YOU are always to blame? I mean, even the most inept doctor, for example, gets some things right sometimes, right? Therefore, whenever you see a person who is NEVER the one to blame, and who regularly reminds you that YOU are, you can be sure that you are dealing with a wicked person who, if they appear godly, are an incarnate example of a whitewashed tomb full of dead men’s bones.

An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 16)

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  (2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  (3)  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  (4)  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  (5)  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

There is the central scripture passage once again for this series of articles. Having an appearance of godliness but in fact being devoid of and even denying the truth of being born again. What is the fountain of real godliness? A new heart. A new man. A new creation in Christ. The wicked who parade themselves with an exterior skin of “holiness” detest this truth – you must be born again. 

And local churches, including the pulpits, are typically filled with just this kind of counterfeit. It is the intent of this series to present you with real life examples of wolves in wool who are always at work to creep in among us and bring us into bondage.

Continue reading “An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 16)”