Jesus says: Beware of your Preacher

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."  ~ (Matthew 7:15-20; NASB)
False prophets are something that Jesus said we should be on high alert for.  But many Christians aren't so discerning, and prefer to take on a more passive and accepting attitude.   At the end of the day, many of us simply want a minister who puts on a good show.

And that's exactly what wolves dressed in sheep's clothing do.  They put on a good show.

Outwardly, their ministry is very impressive.  Who could dare fault them?  They are extremely successful and often have stellar results.  Their naysayers are often said to just be jealous haters.

But for all the success and window dressing associated with their ministry, underneath the veneer is somebody actively looking to take advantage of you in some way, shape, or form.  They can come off as very sincere, very passionate, and very successful at what they do.  They usually have a great message that people just eat up... even very good Christian people.

But at the end of the day, you are being preyed upon.

The false prophet's ministry is often self-seeking, self-promoting, and makes the minister wealthy in the process.  Tough questions about the minister or the lifestyle of the minister are not really welcomed, and is even discouraged.  Blind submission becomes an exalted virtue among the sheep, transparency is feigned, and real accountability is virtually non-existent.  Inner circles are often formed to insulate the wolf dressed in sheep's clothing, so those on the outside can't get a closer look at their leader, and discover some awful truths.

After all, even the best dressed wolf can't hide the fact that it's merely wearing a costume.  The Wizard of Oz could only hide behind the curtain for so long, and it took nothing more than a tiny dog to ultimately find him out.  But if the people are kept far enough way, they'll never be able to pickup on the unusual scent or clothes.

Wolves are aware of this.  So they do everything they can to hide and blend in.  For they ultimately know that while sheep may have very poor eyesight, at the end of the day, they are not dumb.  And, if they get close enough to see something they don't like and are afraid of, they will simply take their business elsewhere.  But, if they never get the opportunity to see if their leader is merely wearing a costume, it's only a matter of time that they'll have something for lunch.

That's why Jesus encouraged us to closely examine the fruit of those who would presume to be our leaders in the church.

Jesus never wants us to be impressed by the show.  The outward acts of an impressive charismatic ministry are not what qualifies one to lead in the church.  The Lord Himself isn't impressed by the outward showmanship, and warns us that there are going to be a lot of seemingly mighty and powerful ministers who put on a good show, yet find themselves tossed into hell one day:
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.'" ~ (Matthew 7:21-23; NASB)
We often think of false prophets as those who claim special revelations, that take away or add to the Bible.  We think about false prophets as people who deny classical, historical, Christian orthodoxy, and make heretical statements that are at odds with the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.

But in the above passages, Jesus doesn't say that false prophets are simply those who are spreading false teachings.  Such is so obvious that it goes without Jesus even needing to say it.  That's kids stuff.  Instead, Jesus dives a little bit deeper than that in His teaching.

Rather, the false prophets Jesus warned us to be on the look out for are a little harder to discover.  They won't be found by simply examining their statement of faith, or listening to them speak from the pulpit.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us that false prophets are often people who confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and hold to an orthodox view of the faith, and even do many mighty works in His name (works that would indicate that God is certainly with this person), yet the fruit of their everyday life and conduct reveals where they really stand with God.

It is ultimately the lack of God bearing fruit and character in their personal lives that makes these individuals false prophets, not their theology.  

And, that is why false prophets often work overtime to make sure you only see the side of them that they want you to see.  And this is why they excel at often putting on the best show in town, that hopes to silence those who might otherwise speak against them.  They have no interest in you ever getting to know the real them, and proactively take steps to keep as many people as possible at a distance.

Jesus tells us to beware of such ministers, who put on a good show, yet their lives don't quite measure up to the demands of the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus.

They are dangerous, not only because they have hopes of exploiting you in some manner for their own selfish gain, but because their conduct has the possibility of setting a dangerous precedent that others may be encouraged to imitate as they grow in popularity.   And such behavior is ultimately out of step with the kingdom of God that Jesus came to establish in this world, and sets itself at odds with His kingdom.  And this happens even in ministries that confess that Jesus is Lord, that prophesy in His name, and perform many mighty miracles.

Such a ministry may look like it is part of what Jesus is doing in the work of the kingdom.  But it is ultimately something that will cause a lot of men to be cast into hell.

At the end of the day, Jesus says that the man and the message should be one and the same.  And we should be careful when a closer look reveals that they are not. Prophets should be known for their lives, not their words.


  1. Well king Jimmy you write with a nice flare and with a touch of mischievousness in your tone. Even so it would be better to take the high road and point out those who are bearing good fruit and passing fruit inspection on a consistent basis. Keep on a blogging!

    1. I agree. There is a lot of great ministry out there being done. But we definitely need to be sober minded and aware of the dangers out there.

  2. What's even scarier are the false prophets who actually think they are in right standing with God...

    1. Very true. I've known of some who were totally sincere. They were deceived and went about deceiving.