Confronting the top 10 threats within the church
Wolves In Sheep's Clothing

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:15-23)

People who "prophesy... cast out demons" and do "many wonders" aren't just anybody; they're those seen and respected as Christian leaders. Yet Jesus said among them were "false prophets" and "ravenous wolves" in "sheep's clothing."

What do "sheep's clothing" look like today?

Invoking the name of Jesus, calling Him, "Lord", dressing to kill, brandishing angelic smiles, speaking with confidence and eloquence, carrying and/or waving large bibles, peppering sermons with cries of "Hallelujah!", "Praise the Lord!" and "Amen!"

What about "bad fruit"?

False prophecies that don't come true; faked or temporary healings that come undone after the initial euphoria; begging for money on television and thus portraying God as bankrupt and incapable of financing His work; getting rich off and/or leading a lavish lifestyle from the money collected, including from the poor; watering down the bible; lacing the bible with psychology; steering the unsaved away from true repentance by telling them that they are saved. The list goes on.

Who are some of these wolves?

To confirm that your pastor or the one you like to watch, listen to or read isn't one of these ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing that Jesus warned about, carefully review their fruits in light of the above. Also, search their names on and and scroll through the search results. You may be surprised by some of their interview transcripts and video clips. The sad reality is that the majority of those who appear on television and whose books line the shelves of Christian bookstores qualify as wolves in sheep's clothing.

Let's consider the case of a man who couldn't possibly be such a wolf - the man being hailed today as, "America's Pastor."

In March of 2005, Fortune Magazine asked 27 leaders from various fields, including Rick Warren - the pastor of Saddleback Church and the author of Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church - to name their mentors. One of the 27 named Jesus as his mentor, but it wasn't Rick Warren, the lone pastor in the group. Here's Warren's response:

“In my life, I’ve had at least three mentors: my father, Billy Graham, and Peter Drucker. They each taught me different things. Peter taught me about competence. I met him about 25 years ago. I was invited to a small seminar of CEOs, and Peter was there. As a young kid - I was about 25 - I began to call him up, write to him, go see him. I still go sit at the feet of Peter Drucker on a regular basis. I could give you 100 one-liners that Peter has honed into me.”

Who is Peter Drucker?

Until his death in 2005, Peter Drucker was one of the most revered gurus in the world of corporate management. He taught companies how to make more money, which the bible calls "mammon". Here is what Jesus said about mammon: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)

Instead of despising mammon, Rick Warren sat "at the feet" of one of its gurus who "honed into" him the core of what he repackaged as Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church: study the customers, identify their wish list, tailor the message by picking out of the bible what meets their wish list, package it with entertainment, and market it as “good news.”

The best lie is half of the truth. What Rick Warren is pitching in Purpose Driven Life, Purpose Driven Church and using to fuel the worldly ambitions of the 400,000 pastors who have taken his Purpose Driven Church seminars originates from mammon, which Jesus said His disciples should "despise."

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand." (Mark 13:22-23)

What should be done?

1. The only way to recognize false prophets and their teaching from the true Gospel is to read, study and filter all sermons, books, and other messages through the bible. It is the duty of every Christian to keep sharp their "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17) A good place to start is

2. Warn other Christians about wolves and false prophets, pray for the elimination of their dangerous and seductive programs, and by all means stop reading their books. The last page of this site recommends some books for those who insist on buying books other than the bible.

3. Help protect the leaders of your church from temptations and worldly ambitions that the wolves teach and exemplify. For many churches, a good starting point would be to require the pastors' salaries, benefits and assets to be transparent to their congregations, and require the same of the church's assets and expenditures.