“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they’re ravenous wolves. You recognize them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:15-16a
What is a prophet? The main role of a real prophet is, to tell the truth – the truth about God, that is. A “false” prophet, on the other hand, is somebody who tells you what you want to hear or what they want you to hear. There may be a kernel of truth in what they say, but it won’t be the whole truth. It won’t align with God’s Word.
Jesus gave a few examples of such modern-day “false prophets” to look out for: Men (and women) who pose as “friends” to vulnerable young people living in broken and needy home environments. These false prophets lure these individuals into a false sense of security by telling them that they will love and care for them – that they will make their lives better. When you’re desperate for love and hope, you’ll believe just about anything. And before you know it, they find themselves as nothing more than objects in the dark world of sexual molestation, child pornography, or prostitution.
On the other end of the spectrum, a false prophet is also someone who teaches half-truths. For example, he or she might say that God will bless you materially – only when you give to Him. There’s no doubt that Scripture does say that God blesses those who are generous with their resources, but God’s Word is also clear that we don’t give simply to get in return. Rather, we give while trusting God to meet our needs in the meantime. False prophets preach “this health and wealth” gospel – NOT the gospel of Jesus.
Jesus says that we will be known by the “fruit” our lives produce. For those walking with Jesus, these “fruit of the Spirit” refer to lives exuding love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As for the false prophets, they too will be recognized by the “fruit” from their lives – fruit that is rotten and will eventually be cut down and thrown into the fire.
So, beware; be vigilant. Don’t fall into their trap. Thankfully, the closer we walk with God, the more we’ll know the TRUTH, and the less likely we are to be tripped up by anything less.
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