On a certain day a little member of the flock reported to the under-shepherd, "I see a wolf's tail on one of the sheep." The under-shepherd responded with a wise ancient proverb, "Let the wheat and the tares grow together unto the harvest."
This confused the little one because the Good Shepherd had reminded the flock, "Be aware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Of course, the little flock member did not want to be devoured by a wolf.
Eventually, the wolf's tail grew to a point of being noticed by other members of the flock. As a group they complained to the under-shepherd, "We see a wolf's tail on several sheep in our fold." The under-shepherd replied with another wise ancient proverb, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
This further confused the members of the flock, knowing that the Good Shepherd had consistently warned, "Be aware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." They certainly did not want to be consumed by their deceitful enemies.
As time passed the wolves' tail multiplied and the sheep-fold diminished in strength and number. The repeated phrase from the under-shepherd continued, "Relax, this is the true flock-- none can devour it." Finally, what was happening became evident to the remnant sheep-- hence, they consulted the Good Shepherd who commanded them, "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain..." "Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD'S vengeance; He will render unto her a recompense." "And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape."
The Good Shepherd says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand."
From the Inspired Pen
The ministers preach smooth things to suit carnal professors. This is just as Satan would have it. They dare not preach Jesus and the cutting truths of the Bible; for if they should, these carnal professors would not hear them. Many of them are wealthy, and must be retained in the church, although they are no more fit to be there than Satan and his angels. The religion of Jesus is made to appear popular and honorable in the eyes of the world. The people are told that those who profess religion will be more honored by the world. Very widely do such teachings differ from the teachings of Christ. His doctrine and the world could not be at peace. Those who followed him had to renounce the world. These smooth things originated with Satan and his angels. They formed the plan, and nominal professors have carried it out. Hypocrites and sinners unite with the church. Pleasing fables are taught, and readily received. But if the truth should be preached in its purity, it would soon shut out hypocrites and sinners. But there is no difference between the professed followers of Christ and the world. I saw that if the false covering could be torn off from the members of the churches, there would be revealed such iniquity, vileness and corruption, that the most diffident child of God would have no hesitancy in calling them by their right name, children of their father, the Devil; for his works they do. Jesus and all the heavenly host looked with disgust upon the scene; yet God had a message for the church that was sacred and important. If received, it would make a thorough reformation in the church, revive the living testimony that would purge out hypocrites and sinners, and bring the church again into favor with God.
Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1, page 127