“It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be” - Virgil
Teeth, capped white with porcelain, contrasted the tanned skin, tightened face and coiffured hair of the Anointed as he set about the task of completing the sacred mission of the day. Firmly facing the red eyed cyclops the anointed showed no fear, confident in his ability to soothe that beast and bring it under submission. Behind the red hot eye lay the prize set before him: the blessing that only the anointed can know, that only the anointed can enjoy. He commands some more anointing.
Surrounded by tens of hundreds of witnesses, the freshly pressed and tailored Italian wool suit shines under the glistening lights but belies the hunger that rages in his belly. He speaks. And with his speech come the thunderous sounds and rapturous howls of the anointed, deftly using sacred secrets to whet the appetite of the cyclops, to lull it to a sense of safety and security, knowing that by his power they can ride this monster to the buried treasure.
He speaks to the cyclops. "I know the secret things," he says, baring his teeth in the sly grin that can easily be mistaken for sincerity. "I have the secret things to make you handsome, make you rich, and make you wise. He bled, in seven places, so that you know no suffering, and have all your hearts desires. The Jews had it right - buy this, and I can show you the secret laws that control God. Listen to me and learn to control God. Buy this cloth, and wear it over your head when you pray, the evils spirits will have no authority over you. You can be like God."
Across town, the same wool covers the different anointed seeking to tame the red one-eyed beast. His wool covering is darker, and less tailored, and the softness and soothing of his voice lulls the beast to give its treasure. But the same sly grin of sincerity persists. "God has set these rules," he leers. "You're better than you think you are. You must set your mind to new heights. It matters not if you are Jew or Gentile, Christian or Muslim. Your belief will bring your best life." God set this world in motion, and gave these secrets.
Half a world away, the leader of the pack speaks. His wool covering, reminiscent of Dr. No and Kamal Kahn, radiates in the spot light with the power of his magnetism. His voice powerful, and old worldly. He speaks to the monster, and shows forth his power. He bears his perfect teeth, and snarls "Slain in the Spirit." And the red eyed cyclops bleeds forth its wealth.
Their names are irrelevant. They could easily be called Valentinian, Marcion, Jefferson, Larry, Joel, Rod or Benny. The wool suits they wear barely hide the wolf within. They prey on the wallets of the weak by appealing to the fleshly needs and desires - greed and despartion are their weapons, and their vices. They tell stories of great healings and miracles to cover the carcases of so many lambs, being sure to keep the facts vague, and untraceable. They trade in secrets, "truths" they call them, for a price. But all they deliver is disillusionment and broken lives. They appear sometimes in packs, with the knowing glance that one will help the other bring down their prey, and not expose the truth.
These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Pet. 2:17-19).
Like bartenders with short shots and short change, these charlatans are a monument not to the overarching schemes of Satan, but rather to the unmitigated depravity of man. Their excesses and abuses, Mercedes and BMW's, Mansions and jets are testaments to their greed, and their followers' desperation. And all of our desires to be like gods.
But the wolves don't worry how many sheep there may be. All they know is there are plenty to go around. It does not take a prophet to see that they whore the gospel, and pimp the revelation of God, while using the language of love. And the day that you eat thereof, you shall die.
Today, in that town, someone will point out that these men (and women) have nothing to sell, and nothing from God. To repeat their refrain of greed, "Might as well be me."