Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY AUG. 25, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7.15-20

Something To Consider:
Jesus’ warning, “Beware of false prophets…” is much more relevant in our day and age. Now, there are those who will strongly disagree with that statement. We will address that issue in a moment. But first, the original Hebrew word for prophet, nabi, means one who speaks for God, or more precisely, pours forth the declarations of God. The Greek word for prophets, signifies one who speaks for another as an interpreter, much like the apostle Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and the other early disciples called by Jesus to carry the gospel message to the ends of the earth.

The apostle Paul in Ephesians 4.11-13, spoke of the different ministry gifts Jesus gave to the church. “And He Himself [Jesus] gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” At last check, the work of the ministry spoken of by Paul is still very much in need today within the church.

Paul, in attempting to encourage young Timothy, proclaimed in 2 Timothy 4.5; “But you [Timothy, and every true believer in Jesus since] be watchful in all things [including the coming of many false prophets], endure afflictions [even to the end of our lives or the end of this age], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Timothy, according to Paul, evidently was called of God to be an evangelist at least.

Something Else To Consider:
What is it that we, you and I have been called by God to accomplish while here on earth with what remains of our lives? This is one of the most important questions we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis. Have we been called by God to become apostles, those who help to establish the work of God around the world, which begins first around the corner?

Have we been called of God to become a prophet, one who proclaims or pours forth the truth of the Word of God? And if so, we will be mis-understood. If so, we will be rejected as every biblical prophet has been rejected in the past. And if so, there should be no compromising the biblical message of the Word of God. If called to the ministry of proclaiming the Word of God, we must not allow assumption and or human speculation to cloud our efforts. An entire lifetime would not be enough to proclaim all that Jesus alone commanded us to observe of all of His gospel and Revelation teachings.

Or have we been called of God to study to become evangelists, pastors, or bible teachers thoroughly equipping the saints and ourselves for the work of the ministry? Whatever it is we have been called to accomplish, whether it is to come alongside of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers in order to help, support, or encourage, or at times correct according to the Word of God as well as ourselves being corrected when needed; let us do so with the mindset that time is short and the end of this age is in sight!

Something More To Consider:
Therefore, according to Jesus, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing [as if they are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers], but inwardly they are ravenous wolves [hungry to kill, steal, and to destroy your true biblical relationship with Jesus Christ and the Word of God].” According to Jesus in our Scripture to consider, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”

The most outstanding feature and fruit of a false prophet is self-interest. The most prominent feature and fruit of a true shepherd, a true apostle, a true prophet, evangelist, pastor, and or true teacher, is their love, care, and constant concern for the flock of God. The false prophet is greatly concerned about his or her monetary gain and further wealth accumulation. The true prophet is concerned for the eternal investment and impact he is making in the lives of God’s people.

The false prophet is also concerned about prestige and the propagating of his or her own earthly agendas, while all along misrepresenting God’s Word in order to draw attention to himself or herself. In contrast, the true prophet of God is content to carry out the work of the ministry in obscurity if it means that God will get all the glory. A true prophet bears good fruit. A false prophet is like a bad tree. A false prophet bears bad or evil fruit!

According to Jesus, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” Paul, again, inspired by God, explained in great detail what good fruit is in Galatians 5.22-23, by stating; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Therefore, according to Jesus, “Beware of false prophets…” And we do that by determining whether a person is producing good fruit or bad fruit. “Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.” Therefore, beware of false prophets!

A Few Final Words:
Peter, in 2 Peter 2.1, agreed with Jesus’ warnings of false prophets in their day and age and also warned of false prophets coming in the future as did Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 during His end time events expose. Peter confessed, “But there were also false prophets among the people [in the past], even as there will be false teachers [false prophets] among you [in the future], who will bring in [into the church] destructive heresies [non-biblical false doctrines of demons], even denying the Lord [His teachings] who bought them [with His death] and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

The Word of God promises that false prophets, lying teachers will eventually be punished by God. The wisdom of Proverbs 19.5 declares, “A false witness [false prophet or false teacher] will not go unpunished, and he [or she] who speaks lies [non-biblical false teachings] will not escape [God’s wrath].”

Creators of false doctrines and those who approve of false doctrinal heresies no matter how many times they are repeated, will receive their due punishment in God’s timing. God is never mocked; vengeance is Mine says the Lord! Good fruit bearing is a significant sign that a tree and or a person is good according to Jesus. Leadership that bears good biblical fruit is a sign of good leadership.

Our Father in heaven, grant to us the spiritual gift of bearing much good fruit for the benefiting of furthering Your heavenly kingdom. In Him Always, Amen!

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