Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
As Jesus continues His exhortations here at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we come to another zinger, false prophets bearing fruit. Jesus makes a very simple case in these verses: trees bear the fruit they are supposed to bear; apple trees bear apples, lemon trees bear lemons. If an apple tree bears lemons, you should be on guard!
False prophets, likewise, do not bear good fruit; instead they bear bad fruit. If they teach hate and discord, their followers will spread hate and discord. If they teach sexual immorality, so will their followers. If you aren’t sure about a prophet or teacher, observe their followers. If their followers are not following “The Way” then get out of there.
Remember what happens when the Kingdom of Heaven was preached by Jesus: The results were stunning… healing, love, wholeness, sight, chasing out evil spirits, and above all Truth.
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