Scriptures repeatedly reminds it’s readers that there is always only two choices. The draw of your doctrine will indicate which of those two ways you choose to follow. The ability to identify the difference between a sheep (a follower of the way), and a wolf in sheep’s clothing (a false follower of the way), was always dependent upon KNOWLEDGE of the doctrines of Christ.
The Two Ways: The scriptures repeat a common pattern of two ways. Sometimes it’s called “two churches.” Other times it’s called “two masters.” The doctrine of the two ways is: there is God’s way, …and then there is everything else. The degrees of everything else cannot be numbered, just as Alma says he cannot tell us the diverse ways that a man can sin. There is one guarantee though, everyone must choose one way, …or something else. No man can serve two masters.
The DRAW: The Draw of the doctrine in which you choose to believe, will lead you to either attach to this world, or to reach towards the heavens. The doctrine of atonement is a perfect example to explain what I mean by the DRAW. Christians seem to agree that the atonement included the last supper, the garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. But, what we do with the atonement is what separates The DRAW.
An atonement that focuses on the sinner, is concerned with forgiving sins. The idea of salvation by forgiving sins is centered on “not” making mistakes. Those who can avoid making mistakes will find this life beautiful. Those who make mistakes can be wiped clean of their stains, and then their life can be beautiful as well, …of course, after a few stripes. But, Christ’s role of paying for sins is already done, and all you need to do is repent and keep your noses clean. There is no need for a personal relationship with that atoning Christ.
However, an atonement whose purpose is “AT-ONE-MENT” doesn’t waste time in the mistakes. Hamartia (ha-mar-tee-ah) is the Greek word for sin, which simply means to make a mistake, or to miss the mark. In Greek, mistakes were tied to ignorance. If mistakes are made in ignorance, and knowledge removes ignorance, then the atonement is the giving of the knowledge, from the Savior. Angels, Christ and God all play an active role to give you knowledge. You become at-one with Christ as you share the same heart and mind as Him. This is not a magical pixy-dust experience. Rather, it is an intense tutorial, so that the mind and will of God is in you. Thus, only the Savior’s “preparation” was complete when He was resurrected. The salvation of the individual still requires the Savior to play that active role of distributing knowledge in the process of the ascension. That is why it is so important to return into the presence of Christ while here in the flesh.
In both examples I have discussed, each is centered on the atonement. But both are significantly different based on their emphasis. The first example DRAWS the attention to the concerns of the world, the dirt of the world, the negative influencers of the world,etc. And the second example DRAWS the attention upward, breaking into the heavens, reconnecting with deity, and being filled with light, as necessary to be at-one with Christ.
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: We must all carefully analyze the messages we receive, to identify the source of the message, not to be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The savior reprimanded the Pharisees for having their cups look clean on the outside, but on the inside, their cups were filthy. Church-men have all tried to put on the appearance of cleanliness on the outside. Some wear robes, others wear prayer shawls, Some a collar, others a shirt and tie, and a black name tag. Despite what they wore on the outside, it is the content of their message that either ties you to this world or the heavens.
After Moses was first visited by God, Satan came to tempt him. Satan wanted Moses to bow down and worship him, but Moses rejected Satan and cast him out. The scriptures say that Satan appeared in the form of an angel of light (outwardly clean and attractive). So why was Moses able to recognize Satan in that form, and cast him out? It was the content of the message that gave Satan away. Satan’s sights were upon this world. God took Moses, in a vision, upward. Even though Satan had the outward appearance of an angel of light, his message emphasized setting sites on the things of this world and the honors of men. Moses knew it, and did not desire it.
The ancient apostles were really concerned about wolves in sheep’s clothing. The word Probata (pro-ba-ta) is Greek, and means “sheep,” in the New Testament. It literally means “to move forward in progression.” Because sheep were always being herded (moving forward), sheep and moving in forward progression, where both described using the same word, Probata (Remember: our King James Version is a translation from the Greek). With that in mind, A wolf in sheep’s clothing, would appear to be moving forward in their eternal progression, but inwardly they have a different objective in mind, and are truly ravening wolves. They destroy their own progression, and they destroy the progression of all others as well.
“13. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.“
Those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing “shut up the kingdom of heaven against men” by telling them that it’s not necessary to ascend in the flesh, and by focusing their attention on the things of the world, like: immodesty, harmful substances, pornography, etc. Rather than filling them with the knowledge of the heavens so that light dispels the darkness, they seek the council of men. They focus on sin. They use their positions of authority to shun, penalize, condemn, guilt, and manipulate men into obedience.
The wolves in sheep’s clothing don’t enter into the heavens themselves. They use vague statements in their testimonies to let you think that they have, without claiming they have emphatically. Since they haven’t entered in, they stop those who would enter in, not to do so.
The content of the message of those Probata, really moving forward, require each individual to “awake and arise.” Those who offer further light and knowledge point heavenward. They teach the necessity to enter into the presence of Christ, to begin the process of instruction of how to be at-one with Him. These expound upon the scriptures and reveal true doctrines that unfold the mysteries of godliness, to visually see into the heavens, making the things of the world seem dark. These DRAW your sites heavenward for your salvation, not to their offices for salvation.
Conclusion: Our day is the last days for the world. “This world” is prophesied to end in our time (the millennial reign is a paradisiacal world). We must be careful not to be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing. We do this by obtaining knowledge of the words of Christ, to set our sites on obtaining light, and by looking to the heavens. There are only two ways: Gods, and everything else. Those who teach others to DRAW upward, seek to bring people to Christ.
What is the DRAW of your doctrine? Re-evaluate your teachings, your principles, and your values. Filter out the focus of the things of the earth. Seek the words of Christ to identify a different focus, that leads your eye upward, and out of this world. This world is darkness. Light will dispel the dark, if you feast upon the words of Christ. The words of Christ are intended to tell you all things what you should do.