My hometown has grown significantly in my short lifetime. A town of 6,000 when I was born grew to 20,000 when I graduated from high school in 1985, and now reaches near 100,000 citizens.
Despite the growth and size of my town, in a metropolis of nearly 3 million people, there are still sightings of bears, cougars, deer, foxes, and coyotes.
This last spring, I was driving down a major road near our airport and spied something in a wheat field. I stopped the car and looked again. It was a pack of coyotes. Coyotes appear to be cute, but are vicious, ruthless, predatory killers.
I walked as close as I thought wise and took a photo of the nearest animal. Then I stood and watched. Despite the coyote’s tail moving, the animal just stared at me. I got closer and discovered it was a decoy – a fake meant to scare away the abundant geese that eat the growing grain.
But there are real coyotes here. They are dangerous. And the Apostle Paul warned of dangerous spiritual predators seeking to deceive and destroy weak Christians.
There are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
How do you discern a true minister of Jesus from a fake? Not by his testimony. Not by his miracles. Not by his good deeds. Not by the crowd of people. Not by the size of his ministry. Not by his money. These can all be deceptive to our natural senses. You judge him by the Word of God, the only standard of God’s truth.