What part of ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ do people not understand? Satan’s hostile takeover of a church is not going to be heralded by machine gun fire and camo! He is subtle–the whole point is that often we don’t see it coming before it’s too late, because he’s sneaky, he makes himself look good, talks smooth, can get people on his side. He sounds so reasonable, he sounds…like a Christian, and he can make you believe he’s one of the flock. Why should we be surprised that his activity is so hard to discern? He’s deceptive, and far more intelligent than we are–he’s not going to make his activity obvious. And because he’s so good at acting like us, he can make the true believers look crazy for recognizing him and pointing him out. The devil ain’t stupid, and he’s not going to show his hand until he knows it’s a winner. I Pet. 5:8; II Cor. 4:4; 11:3,14-5; Ephes. 6; II Thess. 2:9. People don’t believe it can happen in their churches, but it happened even in churches the apostles planted (I Tim. 5:15).
In spite of all this, we do have a tell–I John 3:10. And we know that he who sows confusion and discord among the brethren is worth prayerful scrutiny; God has no part in sending the factious, and their work only benefits the enemy–I Cor. 14:33.