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Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

MT7:15 You, be alert for false prophets[1] who come to you dressed as sheep[2] but inside are rapacious wolves.[3] MT7:16 By their fruitage you will know them![4] No one ever gathers grapes from thorns[5] or figs from thistles! MT7:17 Thus, every good tree bears good fruitage,[6] but rotten trees, wicked fruitage. MT7:18 No good tree bears wicked fruitage,[7] nor a rotten tree good fruitage. MT7:19 Every tree not bearing good fruitage is cut down and thrown into the Fire. MT7:20 And, so, from their fruitage you will know them.

False teachers – Bowyer Bible Gospels print 3572 By their works you shall know them Passeri

[1] False prophets: Not only is The Way narrow and cramped but there are deceitful individuals who make the journey even more difficult. The Nazarene describes these as “false prophets.” He uses this designation 4 times in the Gospels (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; Luke 6:26). Peter uses it once (2 Peter 2:1) and John once (1 John 4:1). False prophets disguise themselves, which would indicate some motive (Luke 6:43, 44). Various renderings are: PHI: false religious teachers; GDSP: disguised as sheep; PHI: greedy wolves.

The most often used context in the Nazarene’s teachings where he uses the designation “false prophets” are those who predict ‘the appointed time is near’ (Luke 21:8); or claim, ‘The Christ is here!’ (Mark 13:21) (Or, ‘I am the Anointed.’ Matthew 24:4)

These “false prophets” must also be among those who the Nazarene describes later as ones who say, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not speak before others, exorcise demons, do dynamic works, all in your name?’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

The subject of “false prophets” was one that Moses, a proto-type of Messiah, also took up at Deuteronomy 13:1-10 and 18:20-22, with two identifying characteristics: a) lead others to false gods; and, b) foretell events which do not occur.

[2] Dressed as sheep: Paul echoes this when he says that some false brothers from among the Corinthian elders appear as ‘angels of light’ or ‘messengers of righteousness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14,15) Jude calls them ‘rocks hidden below water.’ (Jude verse 12) The Nazarene foretold their success when he said, ‘For pseudo-anointed and false prophets will rise and give great signs and portents to mislead, if possible, the Elect.’ (Matthew 24:24)

[3] Rapacious wolves: Paul uses a similar description when he warns a gathering of elders, ‘After my departure, oppressive wolves, not sparing the flock, will rise among you, speaking twisted things.’ (Acts 20:29) Elsewhere he describes such “false brothers” as ‘pseudo-apostles, deceitful workers who appear as angels of light and servants of righteousness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

[4] By their fruitage you will know them: Signs are certainly not a way to recognize true prophets. False prophets are identifiable by: a) an oppressive nature which places burdens on the flock; b) false prophecies about appointed times which prove untrue; c) claim of Christ’s authority as an elitist priesthood or singular channel; d) claims of “signs” as proof of Christ’s backing.

The Nazarene later uses the word “lawless” which would mean breaking the commandments of Christ. This word “lawless” crops up at Matthew 13:41; 24:12. It ought to be clear that one of the major areas of concern when considering “false prophets” is whether what they have foretold comes true or not.

[5] No one ever gathers grapes from thorns: Various renderings: NEB: can grapes be picked from briars.

[6] Every good tree bears good fruitage: See Luke 6:43. Various renderings: a good tree always yields good fruit; WMS: sickly tree… poor fruit.

[7] No good tree bears wicked fruitage: This infers that a good tree always produces nothing but good fruit. If a tree would produce even one rotten fruit then it would at least call into question its “claims.” Various renderings: TCNT: by the fruit of their lives you will know such men.

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Preceding articles

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

The sin of partiality

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

Object of first woe

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Additional reading

  1. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  2. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  5. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  6. Good Morning January 25 We are theologians
  7. Bearing fruit
  8. Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude
  9. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works

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Further additional reading

  1. Phillip Medhurst presents Bowyer Bible Gospels print 3572 By their works you shall know them Passeri
  2. Phillip Medhurst presents Bowyer Bible print 3586 A tree is known by its fruits Matthew 7:16-19 Passeri
  3. Fruit of the Holy Spirit
  4. Bearing Fruits
  5. Practically Speaking
  6. Narrow Or Wide Gate?
  7. The Narrow Road Of Discipleship
  8. Build Your House On The Rock
  9. False Prophets 1
  10. False Prophets 2
  11. Strong Roots and a Good Foundation
  12. Signs and directions
  13. Is it Fruit yet?
  14. Log?..What log?
  15. A Plague on All Our Houses: Racism in American Theatre

It is difficult to accept that we each play a part—regardless of how small—in perpetuating racism in our society. We are products of our time, and although our legislation and current President would suggest that we are post-racism, we are actually far from it. Instead, we live in a nation still reeling from the Civil […]

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Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

People with a different mindset than Christ Jesus

The spirit of a sound mind does not mean just going by what we or others think or feel is reasonable or expedient. In our world were there is still some freedom of speech we can hear lots of different opinions and we can see that certain groups would love to have the majority of people thinking and  handling as they. They are often those who prefer to listen only to their own heart and to take care of their selfish “I” first. they are not so much concerned about others, but see them more as people standing in the way. Certainly now with those refugees, people with an other culture not known to them, which makes them afraid of such people.

They prefer to lean upon their own understanding and are not so much interested in what Jehovah wants. Many of them even do not really believe in Him. Even when there may be many who proclaim to be a Christian, we should see that first of all there faith is not so much in Christ nor in God, and secondly they often do not live according to the teachings of Christ Jesus nor to the Laws of God.

Our own mind and a sound mind

Jesus did not his own will. Likewise we also should try to do the will of the Same One as Jesus did. As the son of man and the son of God, Jesus very well knew the Scriptures, taught from them, and followed the guidance given in them. He told the people around him that he could not do anything without his heavenly Father, Who is greater than him. (John 14:27-31; John 5:17-27) For Jesus it was clear Who was the One with a truly sound mind. when he was in difficulties he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ)turned to his heavenly Father (Jehovah God) and trusted in Him (Jehovah). Jesus also told those around him not to worship him but to worship his heavenly Father and to pray to this God of Abraham, Who is also the God of the Jews and the God of the Muslims.  Normally we all should have the same God of gods to trust and to worship and when facing difficulties or having to make some decision, we should need to turn to Him (Jehovah God). Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah God as the Most High Adonai gave the world His Word. All who love God should go and look into that Word, the Bible, to see what God’s view is. Then we should base our decision on it. That is using the spirit of a sound mind.

God knowing the heart

Let us always remember that

 The heart is more treacherous* than anything else and is desperate.*+ Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9.)

and that it is God Who knows the inside out of man.

10 I, Jehovah, am searching the heart,+ Examining the innermost thoughts,* To give to each one according to his ways, According to the fruitage of his works.+(Jeremiah 17:10 .)

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,But Jehovah is the examiner of hearts.+ (Proverbs 17:3

All of a man’s ways seem right to him,+ But Jehovah examines the hearts.*+ (Proverbs 21:2 )

Heart of Jesus

The God of Abraham, Who is also the God of Jesus knows the Heart of Jesus and our heart – Heart of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can not hide anything from God. Therefore we should be very careful how we want to be seen by others and that we show them how we are really feeling and thinking. Too many people are afraid of what others would say. Not many are daring to say what they really think and how they really feel.

The way how we think about those coming to live in our regions is for God important. How we are willing to treat them is for God important. Our attitude towards this whole situation is important for God. In these circumstances it shall be that we show our true nature. Nothing shall stay hidden before God.

12 If you say, “But we did not know about this,” Does not the One who examines hearts* discern it?+ Yes, the One who watches you* will know And will repay each man according to his activity.+ (Proverbs 24:12)

Living and doing works according to your faith

Learning to make wise decisions and to carry them out does not come easily. When there is put pressure on you by others with a political agenda it can even become more difficult to stay on the right track.

Recall that the apostle Paul described mature people as

“those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.”

The words “through use” and “trained” both imply making continuous and repeated effort, and that is what new ones need to do. (Read Hebrews 5:13, 14.)

We also should remember that we are bounded to living in this system of things were the way man sees it, mostly it shall not be the way God sees it, because mere man sees what appears to the eyes, but Jehovah sees into the heart.(1 Samuel 16:6, 71 Kings 8:39Proverbs 24:12Acts 1:24)

We should know the God of our ancestors and serve Him with a complete * heart + and with a delightful * soul,* for Jehovah searches through all hearts and He has foreseen a purpose for us, going to establish the righteous. there may be many Christians who think they have to do no works any more once baptised, but they shall be surprised. When they do not live according to God’s Law they shall miss the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God. Yes we are able to miss the boat. (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 7:9; Jeremiah 17:10)

If you prefer to live according to the flesh and keep doing works of the flesh you may be sure there can arise more problems when you have to appear in front of Jesus when he comes back than the problems you will have to face know.

More problems coming into this world

The last few decades we have seen an increase of difficulties on different levels. the bible speaks about that increase which we should consider signs for a coming time where more people shall get against each other and religions shall fight against other religions.

We also shall come to see that not so many Christians are as tolerant as they should be. Being a Christian in certain regions could perhaps not always so easy but also not so difficult to get you uncomfortable. But we are told that it will change. It might well be that Jews, Christians but also Muslims shall come to face very difficult times where they shall be demanded to choose for a certain faith or for a certain action. The false teachers shall try to bring people to other thoughts and having them walk in line with those in power. Believers in God might face the most difficulties, because they could be brought to doubting their faith. For non-believers there shall be no god to look at or to blame.

The media are eager to focus on the many problems and people are easily falling in their trap. Focusing on our worries will not extend our life by even a fraction of a second, let alone improve it. Besides, things often do not turn out as we feared. One scholar put it this way:

“Worry about the future is wasted effort, and the future of reality is seldom as bad as the future of our fears.”

The fact that some countries for decades have been fighting terrorism in its many forms with only limited success gives credence to many fears. Today, people are afraid and terrified for those refugees and for fundamentalist ideas which are preached everywhere and for some Muslim youngsters who tell the world with joy that they are willing to fight for the good cause of their faith. At the same time people wonder how we are going to cope with all those people coming to live in our regions, needing a roof above their head and needing to be fed.

What is troubling most people is the uncertainty of life itself! Sudden death by accident or disaster may seem to lurk around every corner, ready to put an end to everything we hold dear. Such fear and anxiety, plus numerous personal conflicts and disappointments, have made our times precisely what the apostle Paul described:

“Know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, . . . having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness.” (2 Timothy 3:1-3.)

Critical times to come

Getting into times were there shall not only be more natural disasters, man shall be creating other disasters which make it very difficult for many people. There shall be so many ideas sounding in the world, so many calling the other a false one, that people shall get muddled and shall have many doubts, giving them the impression that they nowhere to go.

The God Who demands a perfect righteousness and wants that His Word shall be respected and that His creatures shall live according to His Law has had lots of patience with mankind, but to everything comes an end. He also warned man to get to know and see the signs of the coming change and the coming end.

The God Who is sovereign over all the universe, exists simultaneously everywhere all of the time, has unlimited power, wisdom, and knowledge, is not One Who wants His people fighting against other creatures. He is a perfectly loving, just, and merciful God. He has given everybody the opportunity to find ways to have a good life and to find a better life in the time to come. But before the sublime marvellous time for man, he shall be tested a last time in a big battle which shall not be so far away when we look at the given signs.

It is getting time that people shall come to see that the fruits of terrorism have not been freedom and happiness but, instead, death, misery, and ruin. This bad fruitage has filled the 20th century and is starting to overwhelm the 21st. Many would say that rather than the solution, terrorism is one of the problems. The injustice and hatred that lead to terrorism are not God His fault. Wise King Solomon once declared:

“The true God made mankind upright, but they themselves have sought out many plans.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

Human badness and demonic influence, not incompetence on the part of God, lie at the root of terrorism. (Ephesians 6:11, 12.)

God has the power to halt violent bloodshed. In Noah’s time “the earth became filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11) God’s judgement was sudden and complete:

“[God] did not hold back from punishing an ancient world . . . when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.” (2 Peter 2:5.)

The Bible states a lesson we should learn from the Flood of Noah’s day:

“Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgement to be cut off.” (2 Peter 2:9)

God can distinguish between those who sincerely want a better life and those who make life miserable for others. He has set the latter apart for the “destruction of the ungodly men.” But for those desiring peace, he is preparing a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell. (2 Peter 3:7, 13.) Therefore let us be attentional and not fall in the trap those around us are putting in front of us and would love to see the world reacting aggressively against the refugees and against the Muslims.

Badness

Wordslounge

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Preceding articles

Back from gone #1 Aim of ungodly people

Back from gone #2 Aim of godly people

Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises

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Additional reading

  1. Profitable disasters
  2. Good and bad things in this world
  3. A risk taking society
  4. Securing risks
  5. Facing disaster fatigue
  6. Dealing with worries in our lives
  7. Reacting to Disasters
  8. Signs of the Last Days
  9. May we have doubts
  10. Give your worries to God
  11. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  12. God has not destined us for wrath
  13. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  14. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  15. Bad things no punishment from God
  16. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  17. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  18. Looking at three “I am” s
  19. He who knows himself, is kind to others
  20. Your struggles develop your strengths
  21. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy
  22. We are ourselves responsible
  23. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  24. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  25. In Defense of the truth
  26. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  27. Truth, doubt or blindness
  28. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  29. Creator and Blogger God 9 A Blog of a Book 3 Blog about Prophecy
  30. God’s Plan, Purpose and teachings
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  32. Signs of the Last Days
  33. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  34. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

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Further reading

  1. How the Migrant Crisis is Tearing Europe Apart
  2. Atheist Alliance International Struggle With Stats
  3. Terrorism is not an ethnic trait – it’s a malady wrought by social, religious extremism
  4. Rinos and Cinos
  5. IFB Churches and Women
  6. Fundamentalists and the “Stupid Sumbitch”
  7. A House Divided: How Hatred Aimed At Any Group, Is an Assault On Us All
  8. Stop Your Doing is Not the Gospel
  9. When you feel like you are in a tough situation
  10. I love the smell of rejection in the morning
  11. Love without reservation
  12. He is Faithful and Just
  13. Learn To Enjoy The Journey Of Life
  14. Napping my heart
  15. Badness
  16. Hidden scars
  17. More than meets the eye
  18. Repentance
  19. Growing a more useful mindset than fear.
  20. Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Denounce Terrorism?
  21. Why do Christians Insist on Fighting?
  22. “I” Speaks On To Me (3/4)
  23. The Silence (3/5)
  24. Bad Like Me
  25. broken words for sale
  26. What to say?
  27. God, Help Me Not to Hate Those Who Hate
  28. Trump: “‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people.”
  29. The Frozen-Chosen Church?
  30. The Price of Forgiveness?
  31. Das Spiel mit der Angst
  32. La Horca Moderna

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