Watch Out For The Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

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Pastor John Samson

Jesus gave His disciples the following warning: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves…” (Matt. 7:15). He warned that these wolves dress themselves in sheep’s clothes, but their intention is very clear; hungry for blood, they seek to devour God’s people. He then said that we would recognize them by their fruit.

Using the same kind of imagery, the Apostle Paul said, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:29-32

Paul makes it clear that a hallmark of the wolves is that they speak “twisted things” with the intention of drawing away Christ’s true sheep from the fold. The “twisted things” here (other translations speak of “perverse things” or distortions of the truth) is a reference to the false teaching of these wolves. It is a clear warning to be vigilant and on our guard against false doctrine.

There are many wolves seeking to devour Christ’s sheep, and it is true to say that many of the cults or false prophets of our day fill their ranks with many who once professed orthodox views of the Christian faith. The false teachers use very subtle deception, often using the same exact words as Christians, but are using a very different dictionary with a very distorted meaning.

The Jesus of these false teachers is not the Jesus of the Bible, and of course, it is only the real Jesus, the Jesus found in Scripture who can actualy save. That’s because the other Jesus’ do not actually exist in reality.

We are not talking here about minor disagreements, but fundamental big picture issues. The “God” of these false prophets is not the same as that of the Bible; “salvation” means something entirely different and the means to be saved often makes some reference to Christ (which is why it is so deceptive), but it is never Christ alone who saves, but Christ plus the contribution we are all supposed to make to the cause.

In contrast, biblical salvation is by grace alone, received through faith in Christ alone, all to the glory of God alone, and works (the things we do) play no part, except that they are the fruit of a life transformed by Christ. The Scripture in Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The things we do (works) are the fruit, not the root of our salvation.

It is not our job to try to judge the motives in people’s hearts. That is something God knows for sure, but often times, the wolves look a lot like sheep, because they act and dress like the true sheep in order to draw away their followers. What we can do is pay attention to their teachings and compare it to the Scriptures and see if they measure up.

Scientology, Unification Church, Christian Science, Christadelphianism, Oneness Pentecostalism, Open Theism, Universalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, New Age, Wicca and Occult teachings are so prevalent today, spreading their false doctrines far and wide (The Watchtower organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormonism) are discussed further below). For those with questions about these groups, I recommend the Watchman Fellowship website here and the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry site here.

You might be surprised to see Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism listed above especially in that on many major doctrines including the Trinity and the full humanity and Deity of Christ they are perfectly sound. However, the issue of the Gospel is what seperates them from biblical Christianity.

The material principle of the Protestant Reformation was Sola Fide, meaning “by Faith alone.” This was the material or substance of the preaching of the Reformers. Sola fide then was the belief that faith alone is the instrument of justification without any meritorious works of man added to it.

The formal principle “Scripture alone” was the principle that Scripture alone (and not Church tradition) is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church. This was the principle by which “Faith Alone” is affirmed, as well as the other solas. That is because these doctrines are the doctrines of the Bible.

Against the background of a Europe filled with the traditions of men, including priestly absolution, penances, indulgences, pilgrimages, prayer to the saints, etc., Martin Luther and the Reformers made the bold cry of “Faith alone.” This did not mean faith in isolation, or a dead faith that produced no works. This referred to a vibrant, living faith, for only a living and not a dead faith would result in justification. Faith without works is dead, and a dead faith will not save anyone (James 2:17).

Rome believed (then as it does now) that justification is by grace, through faith and because of Christ. What Rome does not believe is that justification is by faith alone, or by grace alone, or by Christ alone. For Rome, justification is by grace plus merit, through faith plus works; by Christ plus the sinner’s contribution of inherent righteousness. In contrast, the Reformers called the Church back to the one true Biblical Gospel: Salvation is by God’s grace alone, received through faith alone, because of Christ alone, based on the Scriptures alone, to the Glory of God alone. I have written an article on the Five Solas here.

In Romans 3:28 the Apostle Paul declared, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”

Romans 4:4-5 says, “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

Here (offsite) is a link to further study materials on Mormonism from Dr. James White.

Also recommended are two articles “The Book of Mormon: Fact or Fiction?” found here, and “Mormonism and the Gospel” found here.

In a related article, “How are we to respond when a Jehovah’s Witness arrives on our porch?” Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr writes the following:

One strange blessing of living in a relativistic and secular culture is that while we are continually being seduced into such a worldview, we are not often being directly evangelized into it. That is, the culture assumes a relativistic perspective. Its sundry media presuppose it. And we are pilloried for our “arrogance” for believing there is a truth that can be known. But there aren’t many prophets out there trying to persuade us of the truth that there is no truth.

There are, however, others who are eager to evangelize for their folly, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons to list but two examples. We ought to be impressed by their zeal, and ashamed of our own lack of zeal. How we respond, however, may well depend on how we see them. Are these cultic evangelists deluded souls who are lost and in need of the good news? Or are they emissaries of the devil, seeking to seduce us with fables? They are both, and we need to forget neither.

First, beware the folly that sees these groups as mere denominations under the umbrella of the Christian faith. Jehovah’s Witnesses concede this. Mormons once did, but now are taking a different tack. These are people caught up in a false religion who will certainly suffer eternally unless they repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. They are, from a certain perspective, coming to our homes to talk about spiritual things. Why not take the opportunity provided to speak the truth, to perhaps be used to bring in the elect from the four corners? Proclaiming the Good News is a good thing.

On the other hand, we need to be careful with our own souls and those under our care. These evangelists are not coming to our homes to find answers, but to persuade others of their own folly. They are smooth, polished, and well-equipped often with slick answers to our objections. Those who too proudly determine that they are immune from the wiles of these folks are in the end most likely to fall.

The answer then likely depends upon who you are, and how those who come respond. That is, if they seem to be open to actually considering the errors that have ensnared them, by all means speak life to them. If, on the other hand, you find yourself drawn in, or if God’s Word seems to be falling on deaf ears, by all means and with all speed, back away from the conversation. Do not risk your soul by being more pious than God, continuing to cast your pearls before swine, and failing to shake the dust off your feet.

We must beware the temptations to see these conversations as a kind of parlor game, or the temptation to keep score, to boast either in how many we have “won” or even how many we have scared away. Humility is the key. We need to be humble enough to have the kind of compassion that remembers when we see them at the door, “There but for the grace of God go I.” We need to be humble about ourselves enough to have the kind of caution that remembers when we see them at the door, “There, if I do not rest in His grace and His power, will I go.” We must, in short, repent and believe, calling all those around us to repent and believe.

The Warning Passages In Hebrews

Dr. James White

In the New Testament book of Hebrews there are a number of “severe warning passages.” Many Christians have been perplexed and confused when reading them. How exactly are these passages to be interpreted and understood? Can we in fact be sure of what the passages mean? If, as Scripture teaches elsewhere, Jesus the great Shepherd never loses any of His true sheep, and as Paul states in Romans “these whom He justified He also glorified” (Romans 8:30) who are these passages aimed at? Is the writer to the Hebrews seeking to teach that true Christians can lose their salvation?

In this video below, Dr. James White gives a very helpful overview of these warning passages and specific in depth teaching on Hebrews 6:1-9. I recommend these studies very highly. – Pastor John Samson

Hebrews 6:1-5

Hebrews 6:4-9

The Battle Over Justification

The Youtube videos below are taken from a seminar given on Saturday & Sunday, February 7, 8, 2009, at the Sola Conference at Countryside Bible Church in the Dallas area.

The first video is an overview of the historic and present day attacks against the doctrine of sola fide (justification by faith alone).

Lasting approx. 72 minutes, this presentation made by a man I am proud to call my friend, Dr. James White, is excellent for both its clarity and insight concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is highly recommended.

The second video (below) lasts approx. 55 minutes and is entitled Living Out Sola Fide.

What To Expect At King’s Church


Let’s be honest. Attending a service at a new Church can be more than a little intimidating. Actually, it can be downright scary. Yet if we have a general idea about what we might encounter, much of the unnecessary fear can be eliminated.

Let me just say that it is definitely worth the effort to find a good Church home. The fact is, God never intended any individual believer to live the Christian life in isolation. We were never meant to “do Christianity” by ourselves. The Bible tells us that the members of the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)


It is true to say that God saves each of us individually but He immediately sets each of us as Christians in a family, called “the Body of Christ” and in a visible expression of it called the local Church. This is where we can be equipped, nourished and strengthened in our faith and is the primary place where we can grow in our walk with God as disciples of Christ. Its also a place where we can use the gifts God has given us to help and serve others.  Being a member of a local Church is an indispensable part of God’s intended will for each individual Christian.


As followers of Christ, our lives should be built around the commands of Christ. As the Lord of the Church, through His Apostles, Christ summons His people to gather to worship Him together each Lord’s day, in the assembly of the saints. In obedience to Christ, participation in the weekly gathering of the saints on the Lord’s day needs to be a very high priority and focus.


Although there are many benefits for us in our assembling together, the chief reason for doing so is because He tells us to.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says:

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

As the return of Christ draws near, Scripture tells us to meet together “all the more.” This being the case, Sunday morning Church should be the first thing scheduled on our weekly calendars and not merely something that may happen if we can fit it in (after scheduling all sorts of other activities). This is both the duty and delight of His people if indeed Christ is Lord in more than name only.

As God’s beloved children we can trust that He has only the best of intentions in instructing us to gather together to worship Him, to hear His word, fellowship with His people, and to partake of His supper. These in fact are the very ‘means of grace Christ has ordained to bless, feed, protect, nurture and beautify His precious bride.


If we really think about it, part of our Lord’s day worship could even be the fact that we plan ahead and seek to get a good night of sleep the night before (Saturday night). That way, our minds can be in the best possible shape to be ready and attentive to listen to His word as it is ministered in the service. I realize that this is not always possible for many different reasons outside of our control (e.g. our next door neighbor decides to throw a loud party until the early hours of the morning), but nevertheless, it is something well worth thinking about as true disciples of Christ. As much as it depends on us, each of us should do all that we can to regard worship on the Lord’s day as special, set aside, different, unique and holy – in a word, “sacred.”

Our purpose in meeting together is to worship our great God, to be equipped and strengthened by the word of God, and to serve and encourage one another as disciples of Christ.

Because of these convictions, you are likely to see the following components in a Sunday morning worship service at the King’s Church:


We start with the call to worship. A passage from the Bible is read and we are exhorted to worship our great Triune God, in spirit and truth.

Then we enter a time of praise and worship as we come into God’s presence with singing, celebrating who He is and His amazing grace towards us in the gospel. Our music is contemporary in style as we sing both new songs as well as more familiar hymns.

We then include a short time to welcome our first time guests and make announcements.

We then take a few moments to greet one another as we prepare to listen to the word of God.

Our worship continues as we hear a portion of the Bible read to us and then through preaching, its meaning and life application is made clear to us. We call this “expository preaching” and it constitutes the main part of our service.


An expositional sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture and makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today. This is important because it is God’s Word that convicts, converts, builds up, and sanctifies God’s people.


Though on occasions a sermon can be topical (given to a particular Biblical subject or theme) we believe a normal, healthy diet for the Church comes by teaching verse by verse through entire books of the Bible. This is also a great aid in making God’s agenda rule the church, rather than the preacher’s.

Our worship continues as we give in the offering to honor God and support the work of the local church as well as mission projects locally and around the world.


“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a communion in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ?” – 1 Cor. 10:16

The Didache (a late first-century document) 14:1 says, “On the Lord’s own day gather together and break bread and give thanks.” (Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers, 365. Interestingly, the Greek text reads Κατὰ κυριακὴν δὲ κυρίου (literally, “And according to the Lord’s of the Lord”). Κυριακὴν (“the Lord’s”) is the same word (an adjective) used in 1 Cor. 11:20 of the Lord’s Supper and Rev. 1:10 of the Lord’s Day. Holmes’ translation assumes an ellipsis, supplying “day” to complete the thought. It appears that The Didache is connecting the Lord’s Day with the Lord’s Supper.)

The early church (until the fifth century) apparently celebrated the Supper weekly  (Maclean, The Lord’s Supper, 101). Whatever the case, it is important to think through the issue of the frequency with the fact that the Lord’s Supper, like the word of God and prayer, is a means of grace. We, therefore, receive communion together as a church family each Sunday morning.


1. Sinners, convinced of their sin before a holy God.

2. Repentant sinners who believe in the Gospel of Christ.

3. Those water baptized upon a profession of faith.

4. Those not currently living in known sin (known and open defiance of God’s word) and are not under Church discipline in a local Church.

5. Those who see the full sufficiency of Christ to save by His life, death, burial, and resurrection (by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone) and come to His table to fellowship and commune with Him.


Rev. Michael G. Brown writes, “The necessity of the local church for the making of disciples can hardly be overemphasized. This is our Lord’s chosen means for gathering His redeemed people, feeding them with His Word, receiving their worship, nurturing their faith, and bonding them as a community rooted and established in love (Rom. 12; Eph. 4; Phil. 1:27–2:11). The local church is a manifestation of the people who belong to Christ, and also the place where He meets them through the means He has ordained: an ordinary ministry of Word, water, bread, and wine.

Those means do not appear spectacular to the world. There is nothing particularly exciting or novel about a ministry of preaching, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. It is the same routine each week. We hear the Scriptures proclaimed, we come to the table, we sing, we pray, we enjoy fellowship, and then we go home. There are no halftime shows, no rock concerts, and no celebrity personalities. It is plain, ordinary, and even boring at times. Truth be told, it is about as exciting as watching a tree grow. But then Jesus said that the coming of His kingdom is like the growing of a tree (Luke 13:18–19).

A tree doesn’t grow by big and marvelous events but through the slow, steady diet of sun and rain year after year. The same is true with the kingdom of God. More often than not, it does not grow by what the world considers a mark of success: big buildings, big budgets, and big names. Instead, it grows in simple and often small services where the gospel is proclaimed. It grows where believers… are baptized into the covenant community. It grows where repentant sinners come to a holy meal that appears tiny and insignificant. It grows where ordinary members of a congregation love and serve one another. It grows in those late-night, unglamorous meetings of the elders as they seek to tend faithfully to Christ’s sheep.

We do not need more movements, more conferences, and more celebrities. We do not need the next big thing. What we need are more churches committed to the way disciples have been made since the Apostles planted a church in Jerusalem two thousand years ago: the slow-going, unspectacular, ordinary ministry of Word and sacrament, where God is raising dead sinners and creating a living communion of saints.”

Our Sunday morning service lasts approximately 80 – 90 minutes. Prayer and personal ministry is always available.

We hope the above comments are helpful to you. By the way, you can come in casual or smart clothes – either is fine with us. We look forward to seeing you at one of our services very soon.

A TWO HOUR DRIVE – The following is a transcript taken from the first question and answer session at the 2014 Ligonier National Conference.

Questioner: “This couple writes, ‘we live in a rural area without access to solid Biblical teaching, let alone Reformed teaching. The nearest Church with such teaching is two hours drive away. How should we choose a group to meet with and serve when we disagree with the things taught from the pulpit?’ What would you say practically to this couple?”

Dr. R. C. Sproul: “Drive two hours!”

Questioner: “Drive two hours?”

Dr. R. C. Sproul: “Lots of people do. Its that important. If you had to go to the hospital and it was a two hour drive you wouldn’t stay home. You would go to the hospital. You wouldn’t go to a dog pound because it was convenient. Would you?

Seriously! I mean its the old thing. I learned this from a former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chuck Noll. His phrase was ‘whatever it takes!’ and the spiritual nurture of your soul and of your children’s souls are so important that if you have to drive two hours for worship, and for instruction in apostolic truth, then that’s an obvious decision. You drive two hours, or move! But it has to be a priority in every Christian family to be somewhere where there is true worship, true gospel, true doctrine, for the sake of eternity.”



Our generation is so blessed. In contrast to former generations where access to the word of God was very rare, there are many good Bible translations available to us in the English language today. How we thank God for this. It is simply a fact of history to say that many have paid the ultimate price (forfeiting their very lives) so that we would have access to the word of God in our native tongue. Yet now, because there are so many translations available to us, if the version used from the pulpit is not the same one we have brought to the service it is often difficult to follow a preacher’s sermon. Therefore, it may be helpful to know that we mainly use the English Standard Version in our services.