S.O.A.P. Devotion 2018-12-06
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
“”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.”
Matthew 7:15-20 ESV
False prophets in this case refers to teachers of incorrect non biblical teachings/doctrines or those falsely claiming to hear from God through Divine inspiration. To come in sheep’s clothing is to appear innocent and not a threat, but in reality they come to devour what they can for their own benefit as a wolf would destroy a lamb to feed off of it. The good news is that if you look closely you can recognize them by their fruit. The proof is not in the branches, or the leaves, or the size. It is in the fruit. It is not the size of the bush or the tree, or the ministry, that tells you what kind it is. It is the fruit it bears. Every tree or bush that does not bear food fruit will eventually be destroyed and thrown into the fire. Know the good ones by their fruit.
The problem with false teachers is that they can at times seem convincing with such strong stands or even quoting scriptures to back up their claims but using them out of context. They may even grow large in their influence. In fact, we know that their are many false teachings that have taken root in modern society. Some have turned selfishness into a so called Christian privilege and others have turned grace into a polluted pool of self gratification without consequences for your actions. But measure their fruit, not according to size or followers, but with the things discussed earlier in this passage. How do they measure on judging, or proper asking, seeking, and knocking, living by the golden rule… basic Christlike lifestyle and proper teachings from scripture. Who gains? Them or the kingdom of God? Good fruit will include a biblical lifestyle, biblical teaching, and their students doing the same. Know them by their fruit.
Father, help me to not only be able to rightly divide the Word of God when I hear other teachers teach and to recognize their fruit, but also help me to bear good fruit with the things that I teach.
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