“Watch out!” That kind of warning is so very important! If you saw a sign in the road that said, “Watch out, bridge out.” Would you stop and say, “Well that might be true but it might not be so, we should just continue and drive over the bridge ahead instead of stopping and turning around.” That would be foolish not to take the warning sign seriously; it might cause you to lose your life and all those in the car who are trusting you to keep them safe. Jesus gives us a warning about those who would spiritually lead others astray and who would eventually lead to your death if you just went on not taking the warning seriously.
These people Jesus is talking about are those He calls “wolves in sheeps clothing.” They disguise themselves as harmless but they are deadly in what they teach. Their purpose is to devour the sheep of God through their false teaching. They are not there from the Lord but in the power of Satan and for his purpose to “kill, steal and destroy.” (John 10:10) They would not be teaching the “narrow way of salvation” but somehow they would be teaching the false gospel of the “wide and broad way to salvation.” Do you see any of these false prophets and teachers in this day of the church of Jesus Christ?
“False teachers infiltrated the early churches just as the gospel message was spreading (see Acts 20:29; 2 Corinthians 11:11-15; 2 Timothy 2:14-19; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 17-22; 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:1-6).”
Do the false prophets teach for transformation of the soul and spirit to the Lord Jesus Christ? No! One of the marks of the false teachers is that their teaching does not show transformation to righteousness but to unrighteousness. Their acts of kindness and so called good deeds are disguised and their fruit is the fruit of falsity and of evil. False doctrine is followed and the change is for the worst in that those they teach are led to the wrong path, sometimes never realizing it for themselves.
These false prophets and teachers sneak into the sheep-fold and infiltrate the congregations and if they are not discovered then the damage they do is great and sometimes beyond repair.
Jesus uses trees and their fruit to help us understand the concept of false teachers and prophets. What kind of fruit does the teacher or prophet produce? Good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. Identify the fruit and you can see the source. God is the ultimate fruit inspector.
In Deuteronomy 13:1-5 the Bible tells us what Moses said about “false prophets and their destiny.