Matthew 7:15-23 (16)
You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (KJB)
God still uses people, but we must take note that as Judas was the odd one of the disciples, so is it with our ministers, churches, and worshippers (Matthew 24:24-34; 26:14-16). There are beasts among the saints. For example, Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet was a doomsayer, who died for it (Jeremiah 27:15-22; 28). Some men also tried to cast out demons in Jesus’ name. But, the spirit replied, ‘Jesus and Paul I know, who are you?’ They got the beating of their lives (Acts 19:13-16).
Beloved, one of the invisible tragedies of our time is the rise of these fake ministers. And, because they disguise as sheep, it is easy to fall into their hands. However, our Bible reading tells us that ‘by their fruits, we should identify them’, and what are their products?
1. False doctrines: when a pastor counsels members to do what is not scriptural, it leads to destruction (Isaiah 9:16).
2. Corrupt character: their ministries centres around material things and self-glorification, which negates Christ’s lifestyle (2 Peter 2).
3. They preach and practice hate, envy, get divided over minor issues, and set bad examples (1 Timothy 4:12; 6:2–5).
Above all, we need a discerning spirit to spot these hungry wolves (1 Corinthians 12:3-12) while verifying what they profess (Acts 17:11). Be Born Again!
Hymn: Christian, Seek Not Yet Repose — Charlotte Elliott (1836)
1. Holy Spirit, please make me sensitive always.
2. Evil prophet(s) and powers controlling my life, marriage, and destiny, release me!
1. Praise and worship God.
2. Pray with Isaiah 11:1-5