“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So, every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”
Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT)
There is an old saying, “You can tell the pudding by the eating,” or something like that. One taste and you can tell whether it is to your liking or not.
Jesus said you cannot identify a false prophet by his or her looks. To the outward eye they look like harmless sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves, so you cannot tell them by their looks. Back in 1934, when my Mom and Dad moved here from Oklahoma, they were not familiar with all of the trees. There were beautiful orange trees growing along the street in one of the towns west of Phoenix. They were there, free for the picking; but when they were peeled and tasted they were bitter. They were decorative oranges. They still are grown in many different places but my Dad never made that mistake again. They look good but there is no sweetness in them.
Another thing about a false prophet is this, they are not blatant in what they say, but subtle. What they say is not openly against Christ or His teachings but little by little they try to change one’s understanding of God’s Word. Watch out for those who say, “The Lord didn’t mean this, but He meant to say something else.” Watch out for those who will use a verse out of context, (the full statement) to build their thesis. Just watch them, eventually their fruit will ripen and when it does you will know them. Sometimes a plant will look good but if you eat of it you will die.
Jude wrote in Jude 4,
“certain men have crept in unnoticed, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Don’t be swept up in the popularity of false prophets; just watch them because the truth about them and what they say will eventually be revealed. Their bitter fruit will expose them, so just watch them and hold firmly to the Word of God. Amen.