Friday, 28 September 2012

False Teachers - Know them by their Fruit

Matthew 7: 15-17 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mark 7: 21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

In our world today, there are many many teachers and preachers providing programming on the radio, TV, and through the internet. There are books coming out constantly that claim to be from the Lord. How do we know which Bible teacher or preacher to trust? We are told that in order to recognize a counterfeit, one must be thoroughly familiar with the authentic and in that way we will be able to distinguish the true teachers from the false. I have found though, that the false teachers also proclaim some truth mixed in with their deceptions. So it can be quite a challenge sometimes to differentiate between the true and false teacher. I am not going to name any names in this blog post but I want to explore what to look for. What does the Bible say about this? How can we know and what should we be looking for? Jesus says in Matthew 7 that false prophets come in sheeps clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. This means that they are very deceptive - they really do look like good people whom we could trust - BUT they are not. Jesus also says  - Ye shall know them by their fruits - This means that it's not so much who they say they are but their actions ( their fruits) will make it obvious for whom they are working ( either for the Lord or for satan)  Jesus says a good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Evil fruit is that which Jesus mentions in Mark 7 -evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness
SO, look at the life of the person who is claiming to be God's messenger - what kinds of things are they doing when they think no one is watching? What kind of life are they promoting?

Let's look at some more characteristic of false prophets and false teachers as described in the Bible:

* deception - ( shall deceive many - Matthew 24)
* sign and wonders - ( shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, - Mark 13)
* destructive, untrue doctrines - (who privily shall bring in damnable heresies - 2 Peter)

* in word or action they deny the Lord; ( denying the Lord that bought them,  2 Peter)
* they are popular and are held in high regard by many people ; ( all men shall speak well of you! Luke 6)
*does not confess Jesus is not from God - ( confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God 1 John )

As I read through this list, what I see over and over again is that the false teacher lies. He lives a lie and speaks a lie but all the while tries to have people believe that he is a true Christian. He pretends to be a true preacher of the gospel.

Heavenly Father, You teach us in Your Word to be careful of the false teachers among us. We ask that you give us wisdom to discern and to know who is of the truth and who is deceiving us, and help us to not follow those destructive teachers. Protect us Father.  In Jesus Name we ask, Amen

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