Paul Was Consumed With The Threat Of Wolves – Are We? – By Rev George Ong (Dated 26 Jan 2021)
“In the larger context of Acts 20:17-38, Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, and he came ashore at Miletus, the seaport for the city of Ephesus. He called for the elders of the local church at Ephesus to meet him at Miletus.
The reason was that Paul wanted to give them his last instructions, knowing that he might not see them again on this earth as he was well aware that he could be martyred in Jerusalem (Acts 20:22-25).
It was indeed a poignant meeting. I read and studied this passage with tears in my heart, and they almost streamed down my eyes.
What do you think was Paul’s chief concern that he would have to tell the elders of Ephesus as this might be his last meeting with them? What occupied the mind of Paul before he said his last goodbye to them?
Among his last words to them was his great concern about the savage wolves who will come and not spare the flock; and that they as elders must do their part in guarding the sheep against being harmed (Acts 20:28-31).
Doesn’t that tell us that false teachers, false teachings and the damage that they could do to the body of Christ are of great concern to Paul?
Acts 20:31 NIV
31 “So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”
According to Acts 20:31, how long did Paul keep warning the shepherds about the savage wolves that will not spare the sheep in Acts 20:29?
For 3 years, and Paul did it night and day (Acts 20:31)!
How intense was Paul’s warning to them?
Paul did it with tears (Acts 20:31)!
Are you beginning to see why I am contending against Joseph Prince, the wolf, day and night, and sometimes with tears? Do you now know why I have produced 10 volumes of ebooks, comprising 4,800 pages, and, currently, the videos about Joseph Prince’s false teachings endlessly – and more to come? Have you realised that I have spent countless hours, blood, sweat and tears, doing the only thing I am doing, with no financial remuneration and at my personal expense to accomplish that, and worsened by the fact that I’m being criticised by some sections of the church for it?
What is this all about? I’m no more than following the example of Paul. I’m as concerned as Paul about alerting the larger body of Christ to the deceptive teachings of wolves, such as Joseph Prince, and warning the sheep from being harmed by him.
Some people are wondering (and even criticised me) whether I am too fixated and overly intense as I keep bringing up Joseph Prince as a false teacher and his heresies in my videos endlessly.
Well, if that is so, these people need to take the same issue to the Apostle Paul. This is because Paul must have been too fixated and intense, as he had warned the elders of the church about the wolves who would harm the sheep and that the elders must be alert to guard them, for how long and how intensely? – For 3 years, night and day, and with tears!
The irony is that the danger of false teachers, which was of such foremost concern to Paul that it had gripped his heart for 3 years, night and day and with tears, is the least priority of most modern believers.
“When the Apostle Paul was preoccupied with the threat of false teachings so intensely on a daily affair and with tears, the church ought to repent over her nonchalance and indifference.” (Acts 20:31) (George Ong)
Why was Paul and I so fixated, intense, and concerned about heresy? Because heresy is a cruel and heartless thing that could lead people to the lake of fire. If one hasn’t come to grips with the cruelty and heartlessness of heresy that could lead believers to hell, it is unlikely to feature much in one’s priorities.
Next, has it ever occurred to you that before Paul’s impending martyrdom in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, his last words were still the same – about people who will be led astray by false teachings in 2 Timothy 4:3-4?
2 Timothy 4:1-8 NIV
1 “… I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For 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. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness…”
We don’t see the connection between Paul’s concern about the threat of false teachings and his impending martyrdom (which could take place within weeks and, perhaps, even within days from the time of writing) because we don’t read 2 Timothy 4:1-8 as one continuous flow. But if we do, the connection becomes rather clear.
In Acts 20:28-31, we have talked about the fact that Paul’s last words to the elders of Ephesus were his concern for the flock that would be led astray by wolves.
And here again in 2 Timothy 4:1-8, before his impending passing away by martyrdom, Paul was still speaking about the same issue. This shows that the issue of false teachings and false teachers constantly preoccupied the mind of Paul.
The sad thing is when Paul was so consumed about the issue of heretics and heresies and their harm to the body of Christ, much of the modern church does not even care two hoots about it.”
Rev George Ong