How can you tell when fruit is poisoned?
Beware of false prophets. By their fruit you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matt.6:15-17)
Jesus said we will know false prophets by their fruit. But what does that mean?
Simply put, it means there are two kinds of fruit operating in the world. One kind of fruit is good and leads to life, while the other kind is poisoned and leads to death. The two trees they come from are the two trees described in the Garden of Eden.
In the middle of the Garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen.2:9)
Two different trees...one choice!
God told Adam and Eve to choose between these two trees. They did! They chose to eat from the bad tree and their choice brought spiritual death to the world.
After that no one was allowed to eat from the tree of life again, that is, until God sent Jesus to undo Adam and Eve's mistake. Jesus opened the way for the redeemed to once again eat the fruit from the tree of life.
Only the redeemed can eat this fruit - everyone else is still eating fruit from the bad tree.
False prophets are people who say they are redeemed but are not. They are people who pretend to be Christians, but are not. They are still eating from the wrong tree. The fruit they display is the bad fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is not the fruit of 'life'.
So how do they display this bad fruit?
The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Prov.18:20-21)
Fruit is not about what we do, but about what we say.
False prophets can fool people into thinking they are Christians by doing good works, smiling a lot and being nice people, but it's what they say that proves they are false.
Whoever speaks of their own deeds does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. (Jn.7:18)
False prophets focus people's attention on themselves, on the work they do and on the world in general. Their teaching is always about 'self' improvement.
True servants of God focus people's attention on God and Christ. Their conversation continually reveals the goodness of God, his nature and his Kingdom. Their teaching is always about what God has done for us through Christ.
The good man brings good things out of the good treasure of his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil treasure of his heart. For out of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Lk.6:45)
Those who love Christ will spill out love for him in all they say, while false prophets and those who love the world will speak about the world, themselves, their work, their friends, Satan and his plans, in fact, anyone or anything but God and Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven.
True fruit is God's fruit - it is the fruit of HIS Spirit - what God's Spirit would say.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, meekness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal.5:22-23)
The tree of life has nine different kinds of Godly fruit!
You may think you know what love, joy and peace are, but the trouble is, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil has the same nine fruits as the tree of life.
The trick is knowing how to tell which kind of fruit is Godly and which is not. Which kind of love is Godly love and which is not; which kind of joy is Godly joy and which is not.
Godly fruit is never about feelings!
False prophets teach us we are in control of 'our' fruit and can 'grow' our fruit. They tell us fruit is about feelings and emotions that come from the human heart and are displayed in outward appearances.
They want us to gush with loving words (love), laugh all day (joy), try to stop arguments (peace), patiently sigh over things we can't change (patience), speak in soft tones (gentleness), avoid disputes (meekness), take deep cleansing breaths to control our anger (Self-control) and put our duty to our family above all else (faithfulness).
None of that is the fruit of the Spirit!
The best way to see true fruit at work in a person’s life is to look at the life of Jesus. Do you see any of the above 'false fruit' in the life of Christ? I can’t say that I do.
He didn’t gush with gooey words, laugh all day, spend his time trying to stop arguments, patiently sigh over things he couldn’t change, speak in soft tones, avoid disputes, take deep cleansing breaths to control his anger or put his duty to his family above all else.
That doesn't describe Jesus at all!
In reality, Jesus yelled, he cried, he got angry, called people names, neglected his family and refused to work for a living. He angered some and left others 'unsettled', yet Scripture says he never sinned. He always displayed the fruit of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is God's fruit, not ours! And Godly fruit always brings glory to God, whether those around us like what we do or what we say or not.
False prophets and those in the world who eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil judge us by how we look and the things we do. They will often say things like. "It's not what you say, but how you say it".
That's not true! That's how deception works! It's what we say that is important! Always!
Everyone in the world will be judged by their fruit, that is, by every word said. False teachers and the rest of mankind think they will be judged for their works. That's simply not true!
I tell you men will give account on the day of judgment for every idle word they say. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned. (Matt.12:36-37)
It is our words, not our actions, which show our fruit. It is words, not actions that show us who belongs to Christ and who doesn't. And it's our words that will either condemn us or acquit us on judgment day.
Giving praise to God for Christ, glorifying them in all we do, and seeking to do their will everyday ensures we will bear 'good fruit'.
Bearing 'good fruit' is the 'mark' of a disciple.
Jesus said we can ‘know’ a false prophet by the words they speak (their fruit), but did you know Jesus also said, speaking the right words (God's fruit) all the time, is the mark of a true disciple?
It is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, this is how you show yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)
We can not only know 'false prophets' by the fruit of their lips, but we also recognise 'true prophets' the same way!
How important it is to learn the difference between true and false fruit!
Learn more about the way Jesus displayed the fruit of God's Spirit in his life. Check you own fruit by taking the fruit 'test' challenge. Find out how the Apostle John taught his disciples to 'test the spirits' of those who say they belong to Christ but do not. What words do you look for? All this and more can be found in REVELATION A LOVE STORY : THE HERO | HIS BRIDE | HER RESCUE
It is finished! The most beautiful, powerful words of love ever spoken!
ISBN - 978-0-9943256-0-0
Print Size: 6 x 9
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In His Name Publishing
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