Online Bible Commentary
Acts 20: 25 And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 32 So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (NKJV)
In this passage Paul warns us about false prophets, and they are very much alive and well today. Paul never expected to see these believers at Ephesus again and was leaving his final instructions with them (v. 25).
Paul wrote that he is “innocent of the blood of all men” (v. 26) because he has proclaimed “the whole counsel of God” (v. 27). He warned to “take heed” of themselves and all Christians, to “shepherd” them (v. 28). The shepherd was in charge of his flock, caring for them and keeping them out of trouble.
He then wrote that “savage wolves” (v. 29) would come behind him and distort what he had said (v. 30). Paul warned the believers to be on “watch”, and to “remember” his teachings (v. 31). He completed this passage by commending them “to God and to the word of His grace” (v. 32).
Paul’s discourse to the believers at Ephesus applies to us believers today. First of all, like Paul, we are called to proclaim “the whole counsel of God”. This means that we are to teach the whole Bible, not just the teachings that “tickle the ears of our listeners.” To do that is not only disobedient to God but is also a disservice to our listeners.
Some of the Bible is hard, hard to teach and not very pleasant to hear. Some of the teachings make people feel uncomfortable and sometimes downright mad. Even so, we are required to teach the whole truth of the Bible. Anything less is not acceptable in the eyes of God.
Secondly, Paul warns us to be on guard because false prophets will try to distort the word of God. False prophets were present in Paul’s time and are present today.
The most recent false prophets have convinced countless churches and thousands, if not millions, of people that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because the citizens showed a lack of “hospitality”, not because of the sin of homosexuality which has been taught since before the days of Paul.
All of a sudden these false prophets know this passage better than all of the Biblical writers and theologians over the last 2000 years. Not only that, it is absurd and insults God to accuse Him of causing the deaths of thousands of people because they were not “good hosts.”
So, Paul has warned us about false prophets. They will lead us astray if we follow their teachings. We have no excuse. We have been warned. If we follow their lies our blood is on our own hands.