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THE "WOLF" VERSES OF SCRIPTURE

There are a total of twelve! Let's study them together!

Wolves in Scripture are mentioned by Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Jesus and Paul!

They must be important!

 

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

LESSON 1:  THE FIRST VERSE IN THE BIBLE THAT MENTIONS WOLVES

This Bible Study Article was first "posted" to the Web-site on a Sunday morning.

I prefaced it with these words: 

This being the Lord's Day, I am of course going to urge each of you to be exactly where you belong:  in the Lord's House!

There with the saints of God and around the precious Word of God!

Where, to speak Biblically, the "flock" of God gathers to be fed!  We are the sheep of His pasture!

But ... wait a minute ... where there are sheep, there is likely sooner or later to be a wolf too!

Or maybe even a pack of wolves!

That being the case, let's notice the first time in Scripture where wolves are mentioned.

Genesis 49:27 --- "Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil."

The tribe of Benjamin is known for its fierce fighting ability!  Saul, Israel's first King and a skilled warrior, was from the Tribe of Benjamin!  So was the tough little Paul the Apostle!

The verb "ravin" (in Hebrew = "taraph") means "to tear in pieces!"

The noun for "wolf," again in Hebrew of course, is "zaeb" and means "to be yellow!"  It is likely a descriptive term used for certain wolves of that era. (Or is it a description of some of their "fighting" techniques?  Like "charging" from behind its prey ... or an ambush!)

The wolf will attack and tear his victim to pieces!  I mean before he kills them!  Often wolves are so vicious that they eat their prey alive!

They are mean animals, predators, beasts!

And do remember that both Jesus and Paul compare certain folks who attend Church to "wolves" in nature!

Yes, everyone at Church may not even be saved!

And there are some vicious folks that come and go from time to time also.

I've seen the carnage left when precious Preachers were attacked by such people.  It is a sad sight.

Back to our verse ..."devour" simply means "to eat!"

And one more interesting thing.  The verb "divide" means "to separate or distribute."  But in the King James Version this word is translated six times "to flatter."  For example, see Psalm 5:9 ... "to flatter with their tongue!"

Some "Church" wolves are good at flattery ... very good!

Proverbs 20:19 --- "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."

Proverbs 29:5 --- "A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet."

Watch for such flattering wolves!

They are deadly!

Perhaps there are none where you attend ... but one may "show up" anytime!

If that happens, it helps to know what to notice!

Then again, maybe a "pack" lives quite nearby!

Be careful.

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:   THE SECOND WOLF VERSE IN THE BIBLE

The Prophet Isaiah tells us there is coming a day when:  "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."  Isaiah 11:6

I believe this particular verse is talking about a literal future time when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth and rule from the Throne of David (in Jerusalem) for a thousand glorious years!  During that blessed Time, nature ... then redeemed and delivered from the curse of sin ... will revert to its peaceful ways once enjoyed before the Fall of man!

It is then that the wolf and the lamb will dwell together in absolute harmony!

Right now, due to their separate natures, this cannot happen!

Wolves hate lambs!

They attack them and kill them and eat them!

Lambs are social creatures and love to be in flocks!  They require a shepherd ... lest they drift astray.  They love green pastures and still waters too.

However, wolves run in packs (considerably less in number than flocks) and crave blood and meat and death!

The two just cannot dwell together!

That verb, "dwell" is in Hebrew "gur" (pronounced goor) and means to assemble or to abide or to remain! 

That is ... to dwell together with some sense of permanency!

Let me put this in a spiritual context.  Both Jesus and Paul did this, along with several of the Prophets.

Down at God's House, sheep (real saved Believers) and wolves (false professors) will not long be able to assemble or abide or remain together!

They just won't "mix" at all!

In fact, the verb "gur" also can mean "sojourn!"  That implies even short temporary stays!  They will not work either!

Spiritual wolves (often in sheep's clothing) will hurt the flock ... until Jesus comes and straightens everything out!

Then ... every really born-again person will love his brethren in the Lord!

And the lost will be cast into Hell!

Then ...

No more Church fights!

No more bleeding Preachers!

No more spiritual casualties!

"Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!"

                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

The third "wolf" verse in the Bible is penned by the Prophet Isaiah.  "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."

I believe Scripture here is describing a yet future day when Jesus will have returned to this earth ... and established the Millennial Kingdom during which He will reign for one thousand glorious years!

It appears that, at that grand time, wolves and lambs will literally feed together ... something they've not done since the first man Adam plunged the human race into sin.

But let's look particularly at the "wolf" part of the verse for a while.

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together."

This suggests that now the diets of these two animals differ!

True!

Lambs eat tender green grass and must be carefully fed by a caring shepherd!

Wolves eat fresh red meat and can do well all by themselves!

By the way, God's spiritual lambs (Believers in Jesus) also eat in green pastures!  Their table must be prepared!

But wolves, spiritual predators, prey upon innocent sheep ... sooner or later moving in for the "kill."

One sure way of telling if a wolf is in the church congregation is to watch them eat!

If they eat the Word of God and enjoy it dearly ... they are likely sheep!

If they can't handle the milk and honey and bread and meat of the Word ... they just may be vicious wolves!

Some folks love preaching ...!

They are "sheep" folks!

Some folks hate it and must have entertainment or dialogue or sports or social activities in its stead!  They are "wolfish" in nature and bear watching very closely!

Of course all this will be made right some day ... when Jesus comes again!

What a "blessed hope!"

                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

The Prophet Jeremiah gives us our next piece of "wolf" information.  It is located in the middle of a particularly strong sermon about backsliding too!

Here's what he says about the hard-hearted stubborn people of Judah: "Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased."  Jeremiah 5:6

Wolves and lions and leopards, all here are instruments of God's chastisement and punishment upon His people!

Now the part of the verse that we must investigate deals with the damage these wolves do ... the "spoiling" of God's people.

I am thinking that if wolves "spoil" physically and literally ... they likely "spoil" spiritually too!

The precise verb used here, "shadad" in Hebrew, is found 58 times in the Bible.  Jeremiah is the "leader," using it 26 times!  It means to ruin or deal violently with someone!  To devastate, to assault, to ruin!

It's first use in the Bible is located in Judges 5:27, a rather "late" location for a "first" mention!

There Sisera, an ungodly Canaanite army Captain, is "spoiled" ("shadad") or (obviously) killed by a strong Jewish lady named Jael!  "Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. He (Sisera) asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.  She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.  At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead."  The words "fell down dead" in our King James Bibles translate the Hebrew verb "shadad."   Jael had literally driven a nail through his head!  By nail I mean a tent peg!

Is that a "picture" of what spiritual wolves ... if they ever gain entrance to the House of God ... will do?

I believe so.

They kill!

They destroy!

They ruin!

They spoil!

In fact, they have "spoiled" many a church fellowship and many a preacher and many a believer too!

And in Job 12:6 (its second occurrence) the word is associated with "robbers!"  ("The tabernacles of robbers prosper ....")

Furthermore, the verb "shadad" here is expressed in the Piel stem, which in Hebrew means the action is intensive!  Harsh, vigorous, violent attacks are being depicted!

Little wonder that Jesus and Paul both warn us Christians to "beware" of such people ... those who exhibit "wolf-like" characteristics!  Listen to Jesus caution His Disciples:  "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."  Matthew 7:15

Lastly, see that these wolves (along with the lions and leopards) "tear in pieces" their prey!  "Taraph" means to rend or pluck or even catch! 

Genesis 8:11 first uses the word, describing the actions of Noah's dove when he "plucked off" a leaf from an olive tree ... revealing that the flood waters had abated.

Sure sounds like pretty rough handling!

Biblically speaking, wolves are dangerous!

Avoid them in every way!

Here's how Paul the Apostle warned the leaders of the Ephesian assembly: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Therefore watch, and remember."  Acts 20:28-31

And if that was true 2,000 years ago ... it's still true of Churches today!

Be careful.

                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- A careful reading of our "key" verse today will also suggest that God on occasion might ALLOW the wolves to come ... as a punishment for the sins of his rebellious people!  Again, "Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased."  Jeremiah 5:6

 

 

LESSON 5 ... THE NEXT "WOLF" VERSE OF SCRIPTURE:

Ezekiel adds to our composite picture of Bible wolves.

"Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain."  Ezekiel 22:27

The personal (and possessive) pronoun "her" represents Israel, the people of God.

Yet the nation is in the process of disintegrating --- due to her constant rebellion and love of sin!

God is saying through Ezekiel that He will allow her Rulers (Princes) to behave like wolves in the midst!

"Ravening the prey!"

In Hebrew that clause is spelled:  tareph tereph.  These words virtually duplicate each other.  The first is a verb; while the second is a noun. 

The root ("trp") means to catch and tear to pieces!  The noun then would mean ... that which is caught and torn to pieces.

Israel's leaders were destroying their own people!

Just like wolves destroy their prey!

When Jacob was shown Joseph's bloody coat (by 11 lying boys), he lamented "and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces." ("taraph" = "rent in pieces") Genesis 37:33

Once Job accused God of tearing ("taraph") him to pieces in Divine Anger! "He (God) teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me."  Job 16:9

And at the Cross Jesus' enemies were as ravening ("taraph") beasts!  Psalm 22:13 foretells Him saying:  "They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening ("taraph") and a roaring lion."

Yet today I would say this.

Anytime the wolves come ... they first have to get through God's defenses in order to harass us!

He can protect His own!  "Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey ("tereph") to their teeth."  Psalm 124:6

In fact, when we sin, God can attack us ... just as these earthly predators do! 

The Lord is speaking here:  "Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces ("taraph"), and there be none to deliver."  Psalm 50:22

And even when the Lord does allow difficulty and danger to come our way ... He can restore that which has been torn!  "Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn ("taraph"), and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up."  Hosea 6:1

So even the wolves ... along with everything else in life ... must ultimately bow to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ our Saviour!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Habakkuk next shares with us a "wolf" verse.

"Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat."  Habakkuk 1:8

The Prophet is here describing the Chaldeans or the Babylonians, enemies of the people of God!

Their Army will attack Judah and do so fiercely!

"More fierce than the evening wolves."

The word "fierce" has a verbal background ("chadad") and means "to be sharp" ... then "to be keen" ... or "to be alert!"

Sounds to me like the Jews of Habakkuk's day would NOT allow the sharp two-edged sword of God's Word correct them ... so God is sending a sharp army of destruction to do the job, an army no doubt with many two-bladed swords!

In English the adjective "fierce" comes to us with a Latin background.  "Ferus" means wild!

Wolves are among God's wildest creatures.  They truly thrive on untamed wilderness life.  They hunt and fight and kill both for food and, at times, for pleasure!

They begin training their pups at seven weeks or so to kill as well!

And, believe it or not, many churches today have on their membership roles a few folks who are also fierce and wild!  Unsaved likely, and ready to attack and kill any Christian reputation or testimony that gets in their way! They have hurt  many a Christian, many a Preacher, and (surprisingly) many a fellow wolf who happens to wander into their territory!

And what might the Believer in Christ do while the "evening" wolves approach?  Using the same Hebrew word ("ereb") I would answer:  "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."  (Psalm 141:2)  Trust and rely upon and PRAISE God!  The great God Who is the Creator and Controller of life ... all of life, including that of the wolves!

Furthermore, "evening" wolves are perhaps the most hungry and vicious, having for some reason gone all day without a "kill!"

Lord, spare us from the evening wolves!  In Jesus' Name, Amen

                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7 ... THE SEVENTH WOLF VERSE IN SCRIPTURE:

God is describing the gross iniquity of Judah!

And Zephaniah 3:3 adds to the total picture by saying:  "Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow."

We shall focus on that part of the verse which compares "wolves" to the "judges" of the land!

When wolves appear in the evening ... still hungry ... it simply means they have been unable to obtain food all day long!  They well may be ravished! Starving!  Therefore, all the more vicious!

By calling their evening wolves "judges" our God renders an indictment against the whole judicial system of Judah.  The men on the bench had begun to confuse right and wrong!  "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"  Thus preached Isaiah the Prophet. (Isaiah 5:20)

Here we have wicked judges consuming God's sheep!

And by the word "evening" the Holy Spirit may be intimating that day is nearly done!  These consuming judges will appear in the last days of the age ... just prior to the Lord's Return!

Of course there is a practical application too.  Wolves often do not appear in broad daylight (the times in our lives when things are going well) ... but wait until cover of darkness and gloom (the times of defeat and sorrow and trial)!  They wait until we are the weakest ... then attack!

And these particular wolves do not linger around their kill, gnawing the prey and feeding their young as is common custom!  They eat ravenously, gobbling down all they can and are gone before daylight!

How dangerous!

Beware of evening wolves ... and wicked judges!

The Church in America may have to face both in these last days before our Lord returns!

In fact, they are already here!

                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

We have noticed all the Old Testament references concerning wolves.  Now let's see what Jesus and the other New Testament writers say.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."  Matthew 7:15

The Lord is teaching about those who are enemies of the Grace of God. These "pseudo-preachers" are hypocritical!  However, keep in mind that these wolf-like characters are not limited to preachers.  At Church the person in the pew near you could be one also! 

Acting righteous, they have devious goals!  The noun "clothing" is taken from a Greek word, ""enduo," which means "to wear."  It literally means "to sink down" into a garment! These men, who so appear to be endued with godliness, are in reality filled with hatred and destructive attitudes toward the Lord's people!

Of course we are supposed to be "endued" with the Holy Spirit and His Power!  Jesus commanded His disciples:  "Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."  Luke 24:49

It's just not possible to be endued with a wolf's nature ... if the Holy Spirit lives within one's heart!

The verbal adjective "ravening" translates the Greek term "harpax."  It's used only five times in the whole Bible, only once being rendered "ravening."  The other four times it is "extortioner!"   That's a thief and can even be a violent one!

The word has a background meaning "to twist" or "to wrest away" ... depriving someone of their money or possessions!

Wolves steal!

They steal life (also called killing)!

They steal food!

And they steal peace of mind and tranquility!

They are predators!

And Jesus has told us that such men exist ... and will be in our midst as we live for Him!  And that we must "beware" of them!  Beware is "prosecho" and means to "hold on" to a certain truth.  To be on guard!

Caution!

The wolves are here!

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

In Matthew 10:16 the Lord Jesus said:  "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."  The surprising thing is that He was speaking to His followers there!

The opening verb, "send forth," translates "apostello," the Greek word that gives us our English term "apostle!"

It fuses "stello" (meaning "to set fast") and "apo" (meaning "off" or "away" from something).

Actually it carries a strong implication of authority and determination! The Lord is resolute here!  The Disciples WILL be sent forth like sheep in the presence of a pack of wolves!

Such activity is apparently necessary to their training!

"Midst" ("mesos" in Greek) means exactly what it says: right in the MIDDLE!

The adverb "therefore" (in Greek = "oun") means "accordingly" or "then" or "conjunctionally."

Since we are going to be in the presence of vicious wolves ... it is essential that we behave in a certain manner!  "Therefore ...."

The adjective "wise" contains the Greek word for one's "thinking."  In "phronomos" (wise) you can see the verb "phroneo" (to think with one's mind).

We are to learn about those wolves and be intelligent and prudent around them!

Why wise as "serpents?"

The word for snakes in the New Testament ("ophis") is used 14 times. Each time it is rendered "serpents."

And every time it also is used either in a negative and dangerous way ... or in a neutral way!  Never in a positive way!

I think Jesus is now comparing the "wolves" in this verse to "serpents" also!  As we Believers go forth into this wolf-infested world, let us be at least as smart as they are! 

Don't fail to learn their cunning tactics!  Don't let them sneak up on you! Don't let them out of your sight!  When they "gang up" watch them ever so closely!

Be "wise as serpents!"

Once Jesus nearly criticized His followers!  He said:  "The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."  (Luke 16:8)

Let's not allow that ungodly crowd to be "wiser" than we are!  After all, we Believers have the Holy Spirit of God at our side (and indwelling us too)!

Yet ... also be "harmless as doves."

The adjective "harmless" means un-mixed!  The word: "akeraios" ... is from "a" (meaning not or no) and "kerao" (meaning to mix or mingle)!  Not diluted by the wolves!  Not stained by their mean ways!

We will be around wolves ... but not mixing with them or becoming like them!

Still untainted with sin, let us live "harmless" lifestyles!

As pure as "doves!"

Those little birds ("doves" 10 times in the New Testament and "pigeon" once) are well known for their cleanliness, purity and faithfulness!

The first New Testament reference to this bird compares him to the Holy Spirit!  Matthew 3:16

Be Spirit filled folks ... especially when you're around those wolves!

And, armed with such weapons --- the Wisdom of God and the Purity of the Holy Spirit --- we cannot be eternally harmed ... even by wolves!

Wow!

                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

The next "wolf" verse, Luke 10:3, is rather short.

Jesus spoke these words to His Disciples:  "Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." 

Here's more of the context:  "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.  And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house."   Luke 10:1-5

It seems to me that here Jesus is commissioning His followers to go into the world of lost souls ... seeking to win them to Christ!

It is the very nature of these sinners ... to be like wolves!

That is just to be expected!

What is NOT to be expected is for so-called Christians to act like wolves!

Almost always the Lord compares His children to "sheep!"

So does Peter who, quoting Solomon in Proverbs says:  "But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." 2nd Peter 2:22

Saved people are like "sheep" ... but lost people are like "dogs" and "hogs!"

Or the "sheep and goats" scenario Jesus gives in Matthew 25.  "And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."

Lost people are often antagonistic to the Gospel.  And this will become more and more obvious in these last years of America's life as a nation.

They are like wolves!

Having an "attack" nature, they viciously hope to rend the bearers of Truth!

And, knowing this in advance, Jesus send the Seventy there anyway!

Apparently suffering is part of the Lord's plan of witnessing, of reaching the very ones who hate us!

Proper response to hatred ... in other words, love, is a powerful magnet ... leading people to our Saviour!

Our Saviour who also was hated by the wolves of this world!

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps."   1 Peter 2:21

What a verse!

What implications!

What a prospect for Christians!

And ... no one preaches this aspect of godly living any longer!

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

Jesus mentions wolves again in John 10:12.  "But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep."

It's only natural that little sheep fear wolves.

Often lambs die not simply from the attacks of these predatory animals, but from just the fear of knowing they are nearby!

That's one main reason why they so need a shepherd!

But, even among shepherds, some men are insincere and selfish!

They will not fight the wolves, even for the sake of their flock!

"Fearful shepherds" ... that very term is an oxymoron!

That's like saying cold heat or dry rain or a peaceful storm!

True shepherds see the wolves coming and will even die protecting their sheep ... if need be!

Jesus, the Great Shepherd, died for His!  Listen to Him in John 10:11 where He says:  "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."

But "heirlings," men who work just for the money, will flee every time the wolf comes!

The verb "leaveth" (in Greek = "aphiemi") means simply to go away!

The accompanying verb "fleeeth" (in Greek = "pheugo") means to escape!

Both these verbs are in the present tense, suggesting that this running from wolves is a habit with these so-called shepherds!

Then of course ... the unprotected sheep are subsequently harmed by the vicious wolves.

Preachers, I am writing to you today.

As Shepherds of God's Flock ... we are not to run from the bullies and bosses and agitators (all wolves in a spiritual sense) that approach (and often attend) the Flock.  I mean the Flock of God concerning which the Holy Spirit has made you the overseer!

I am about tired of scaredy-cat Preachers!

Men who will not face the enemy and ... in the Name of God and through the Power of the Holy Spirit and with the Armour God has provided ... defeat those old attack wolves!

Too many Men of God MOVE to another church ... rather than fight the wolves where they are!

By the way, run if you choose ... but there will be wolves waiting on you in the next pasture too!

It's about time we who are called of God to preach His dear Word took a refresher course in wolf combat!

If not ... they are going to "take over" our Churches!

At least that how I see it from God's Word in general and John 10:12 in particular.

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

P. S. --- Also notice here what these wolves do to the sheep once they gain access to the flock.  (In other places they kill them, tearing them to pieces! Devouring them!)

Here Jesus has them "catching" and "scattering" the sheep!

The verb for catch is "harpazo" and seems to suggest the word "harpoon!" The wolves want to get their paws (and claws) on those little sheep!  Some wolves, once they acquire a taste for lamb, will be satisfied with nothing else!

And to "scatter" (in Greek = "scorpizo") means to disperse abroad!  The spider "scorpion" is named after this word!  I'd say they (a bunch of scorpions) would send a crowd running ... in all directions!  And, as you know, once sheep are scattered, they are in greater danger than ever!  They can not take care of themselves!  They just must have a shepherd!

 

 

LESSON 12:

The final verse in the Bible that mentions wolves is located at Acts 20:29. Paul the Apostle is speaking there and says:  "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."

He is addressing the leaders of the Church at Ephesus.

Realizing that he will never see them again, Paul's heart is heavy.  He warns these beloved Christians about some coming dangers ... including the arrival of certain dangerous "wolves!"

The verb he uses for "know" (in Greek = "oida") implies intuitive knowledge, not humanly acquired knowledge!  Paul "knows" the wolves are coming because the Holy Spirit of God has told him so!

But, watch this!

These wolves will not attack the flock in Ephesus ... until Paul departs!

Apparently these predators were smart enough to know when they had encountered an awesome foe!

Any wolf who battled Paul would soon be a dead wolf!

And that is so true in Church situations yet today.

The wolves in a flock will NOT accost the Man of God when he is strong and healthy!  Rather they will wait until his weak moment!  Cowards they are indeed!

But ... when Paul leaves, the wolves will make themselves known!

These are grievous wolves too!  The adjective here (in Greek = "barus") means heavy!  Big wolves!  Wolves that inflict a heavy burden upon a little flock of sheep! 

Grievous ("barus") wolves lodge heavy ("barus" again) complaints against the Man of God too!  Acts 25:7 illustrates what I mean, using our very word here:  "And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove." 

Whereas Jesus' burden is "light" ... the devil's burden is "heavy" ... grievously so!

To "enter in among you" involves a combination of "invasive" terms.  The verb ("eiserchomai") means literally to come INTO an assembly!  These wolves will want to join the Church!  And maybe even get on the Deacon Board!

"Among," the preposition used here, is a Greek term ... "eis" ... meaning into the middle of!  It at times can even mean "against" also!

But ... what will these wolves do?

"Not sparing the flock" Paul says.

They will not forbear the flock!

They will not stay away from it!

They will not avoid it!

They will not keep back from the flock!

All in order to harm it and destroy it!

The only "solution" to the wolf problem of Acts 20:29 is to do your very best to keep a real Man of God around the flock!  A Paul-sized one if possible!

The wolves are afraid of those giants in the faith!

When I was a child they used to occasionally sing a song named "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?"

Well, now as an older man I think that should be re-written for Christians: "Of whom is the big bad wolf afraid?"

Answer:

THE REAL MEN OF GOD!

Oh, how we need them today!

Thank God for your Pastor!

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

MY PRAYER IS THAT THIS SERIES OF STUDIES WILL HELP SOME PRECIOUS MAN OF GOD RENEW HIS COURAGE AND GO FORTH TO BE A GREATER "WOLF FIGHTER" THAN EVER!

 

 

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