Posted by: thomasdodds | November 8, 2010

Application of the Fighter Verse for November 13/14

Track 30 in Songs Set E –Matthew 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? (Next week’s verse is also part of this song. Matthew 7:17-20 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.)

Jesus commands us to beware and recognize.

To beware is to be vigilant and on guard as though you were being hunted! 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

To recognize is to use our minds to discern, by the power of the Holy Spirit, what is true. (“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:3)

Beware and recognize false prophets.

A false prophet is one who looks like a sheep, perhaps even docile and mild. But, the false prophet is bent on your destruction.

With a gentle, diplomatic exterior, you may be persuaded by one that the gate is NOT narrow and the way is easy that leads to life. (In contradiction of the truth in Matthew 7:13-14.) They may come with big smiles and promises of good health and material prosperity.

So, how do you know them? How does one recognize a false prophet?

It is by their fruit. Not necessarily by the tree itself. Each tree bears its own fruit. (More on that next week.) The fruit helps you recognize what kind of tree you have. Likewise, the practical effect and result of the teaching of a false prophet will show them for who they are. They are ravenous wolves and children of the devil who are corrupted and seeking to tear you away from the living God.

The practical effect of false teaching lessens our faith in the true God. Oh, Lord help us recognize the devil in all his guises! “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10)

What is fruit? It is used metaphorically in many ways throughout the Bible.

Here are some “fruits” that you can use in discerning:

– Fruits of the Spirit are important evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit transforming a person’s heart. Of “love, joy pease, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) We should desire more of this fruit.

– Professed belief in the Son of God (I John 2 :23)

– Adherence to sound doctrine and the word of God (Hebrews 4:12)

– Plugged into the vine and Adibing in love (John 15:4)

– Love of God and Obedience to God’s commandments (1 John 5:2)

Are you aware and awake? How are you at recognizing fruit?

Practical suggestions this week:

– Meditate upon this verse. Are you listening to false prophets? Do you believe any truths that are false and in contradiction with the Bible?

– What fruit are you bearing? At your heart are you a thistle or a fig tree?

– Preach this verse to another and encourage them to beware and recognize the devil in all his work.

How will you use this scripture verse in your life this week? with your spouse? your children? your family? your neighbors?

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