- Matthew 7:13 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:14 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:15 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:16 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:17 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:18 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:19 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:20 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:21 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:22 (NLT)
- Matthew 7:23 (NLT)
Matthew 7:13-23 Jesus says we will know false prophets by their fruit.
These false prophets can be detected by their fruits. Judging by external forms is risky; judging (if you prefer, discerning) on the basis of fruits is absolutely necessary and part of OUR responsibility. The proof of the root is in the fruit. Good trees produce good fruit, and rotten trees, bad fruit. A dependable assessment of those who would be guides is that of their fruits (Matthew7:20). But, what are these fruits? One must be very careful here, for false prophets are not without religious activities.
A false prophet is often accompanied by deceptive signs and by seeming wonders!!
Some of these are suggested in Matthew 7:22 "Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?”’
And Jesus will reply (Matt 7:23) "I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break laws"
Let's take a look at how can we discern Good/Bad Fruit?
False prophets speak from their own delusion, not by divine command (Jeremiah 23:16,21,25;Ezekiel 13:2).
They do not proclaim or defend God’s word (Jeremiah 23:17).
In particular they deny unpleasant subjects such as impending judgment (Jeremiah 6:14; 28:17; Ezekiel 13:10).
They offer temporary and partial relief to pressing problems (Jeremiah 8:11).
Concerning the way of salvation they deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ and they reject the finished work of Christ on the cross (2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:2-3)
The effect of their TEACHINGS on men...
It leads to a rejection of God’s word, a rejection of biblical authority, and a division among the saints (Jeremiah 23:2,14) and a life of sensuality (2 Peter 2:2).
They attempt to lead men away from the truth of the gospel (Acts 13:8), and to deceive genuine Christians with false doctrine (Mark 13:22).
This is also evident from the pastoral epistles (1 and 2Timothy and Titus) where Paul speaks of the need of sound or healthy doctrine (1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1).
Evident in their own MORAL CHARACTER...
False prophets are easily distinguished by their PRIDE (2 Peter 2:10), their GREED (Jeremiah 8:10; Titus 1:11; 2 Peter 2:3,14) and IMMORALITY (Jeremiah 23:11,14; 2 Peter 2:14).
They are men dominated by the FLESH (2 Peter 2:10,12; 3:3).
They prey upon the weak and the guilt-ridden (2 Timothy 3:6-7; 2 Peter 2:14,13).
While they profess to know God, by their deeds they deny Him (Matthew 7:22-23; 2 Timothy 3:5;Titus 1:16).
While they delight in authority, they refuse to submit to it (2 Peter 2:10).
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