by Mark Clements

Monday, September 30

Jesus Warned About False Prophets

Matthew 7:15-20

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them,” Matthew 7:18-20.

As Jesus revealed the way of God’s kingdom to His disciples, He encouraged them to consider new ways of discernment according to the will of God and not the impulses of man. On one hand, Jesus warned them about harshly judging others and condemning them as guilty before God (Matthew 7:1-5). On the other hand, He also did not want His followers to naively embrace everything they heard. What His disciples needed was a way to discern the difference between those who sought to glorify God, and those who sought to damage the work of God. In today’s text, Jesus advised His followers to look more deeply than the simple appearance of those who exercise spiritual authority.

Like a ravenous wolf that dresses up in sheep’s clothing in order to destroy the work of God. Jesus warned that false teachers would do their best to trick God’s people into believing they were harmless. They would try to gain access to the hearts of believers and destroy their faith. God’s people must exercise discernment. We must see whether the works performed by those who claim spiritual authority match their profession of faith in Christ. Jesus plainly said, that if the teacher is good, his work would be good, like a tree that produces good fruit. If the person is faithless, their work will be of the flesh, evident for all to see. The admonition to God’s people is to observe the fruit of those in authority to determine whether their words will edify or destroy the work of God.

JUST A THOUGHT: Spiritual people produce spiritual fruit.

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