You will recognize them by their fruits

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

The idea of the prophet that Jesus speaks of here is not really the kind of prophet we see in the old testament who goes around saying "thus saith the Lord". In my thinking those folks are pretty easy to spot - although I have been deceived by a few of those in my time. The idea of a prophet is someone who you allow to influence you and the decisions you make. It is interesting how Jesus describes false prophets to us. He says that:
  1. You cannot identify by how they look. They look the same as other Christians and often do the same religious things that many of us do.
  2. They are dangerous. Wolves kill sheep and feed off them. These people will do you spiritual harm. It is why Jesus warns us so plainly about them.
  3. You have to observe their non-religious behaviors. Often these folks will blend into religious settings and their behaviors, like fruit, may take a while to surface.
Sometimes in church settings there is not a balance between spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit. Sometimes the glow of a person's teaching gift can blind us to the bad fruit in the teachers life. Often we enjoy the benefits of a person with an administrative gift who can get things done even when things are not done in accord with the fruit of the Spirit. The truth is that we are often drawn to the externals of gifts instead of the internals of fruit.

Lord, help me to not be blinded by spiritual gifts. Give me spiritual discernment.

2 comments:

  1. Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see and ears to hear TRUTH at all times being led by the Holy Spirit. Amen

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  2. I try to remember also, that the only fruit that lasts, is the kind that comes of Abiding in the Vine. Sometime I would love to have you give us a study on John 15. One of my favorite passages in Scripture.

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